Tag Archives: writing advice from famous writers

Best Advice for Writers: B. J. Chute

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Beatrice Joy Chute (1913-1987), known as B. J. Chute, was an American novelist and shorty-story writer, adjunct professor of English at Barnard College, and a past president of the PEN American Center, a nonprofit that supports writers. In the 1930s she wrote short stories for several publications, including The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s. She is best known for her novel Greenwillow, published in 1956, about young love and self-discovery. The novel was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name in 1960 by Frank Loesser. Regrettably, as of this writing, there is no article about Chute in Wikipedia — an editorial oversight that should definitely be rectified. Chute, who taught creative writing for many years, offered this advice to aspiring writers:

“Imagination is as necessary to a novelist or short-story writer as the spinning of webs is to a spider and just as mysterious… Imagination cannot be created, but it can be fostered, and this fostering is part of the writer’s duty. It is not enough to congratulate oneself on having been gifted (lovely word!) with imagination, though it is certainly a major cause for rejoicing. The imagination, like the intellect, has to be used, and a creative writer ought to exercise it all the time. There is no idea, however insignificant or vague it may be, that the imagination cannot touch to new beginnings, turning it around and around in different lights, playing with it, listening to it.”

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
Best Advice for Writers: P.D. James

The Best Advice for Writers
Best Books for Writers

William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Responsibility of the Poet
The Power of Literature
Why Writers Write

For further reading: Good Advice on Writing by William Safire and Leonard Safir
https://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/15/obituaries/beatrice-chute-writer-dies.html


Best Advice for Writers: Iain Banks

atkins-bookshelf-literatureWriting is like everything else: the more you do it the better you get. Don’t try to perfect as you go along, just get to the end of the damn thing. Accept imperfections. Get it finished and then you can go back. If you try to polish every sentence there’s a chance you’ll never get past the first chapter.

Iain Banks (1954-2013), Scottish science fiction author, best known for The Wasp Factory and the nine books that make up the Culture series. Bank was named one of the “50 Greatest British writer since 1945” by The Times in 2008.

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
The Best Advice for Writers
Best Books for Writers

William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Responsibility of the Poet
The Power of Literature
Why Writers Write

 


Best Advice for Writers: Diane Ackerman

atkins-bookshelf-literatureDiane Ackerman (born 1948) is an American essayist, naturalist, and poet. She is best known for The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Human Age, An Alchemy of Mind, A Natural History of Love, and A Natural History of the Senses. In Jon Winokur’s Advice to Writers, Ackerman offered this writing advice:

“The best advice on writing I ever received was: Invent your confidence. When you’re trying something new, in security and stage fright come with the territory. Many wonderful writers (and other artists) have been plagued by insecurity throughout their profes sional lives. How could it be otherwise? By its nature, art involves risk. It’s not easy, but sometimes one has to invent one’s confidence.

My own best advice to young writers is: follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn’t, you will have devoted your life to what you love. An important corollary is that it’s no use trying to write like someone else. Discover what’s uniquely yours.”

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
Best Advice for Writers: P.D. James

The Best Advice for Writers
Best Books for Writers

William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Responsibility of the Poet
The Power of Literature
Why Writers Write

For further reading: Advice to Writers by Jon Winokur


Best Advice for Writers: P.D. James

atkins-bookshelf-literatureP. D. James (Phyllis Dorothy James, 1920-2014) wrote crime fiction for more than half a century. In her first novel, Cover Her Face (1962), James introduced readers to Adam Dalgliesh, a poet and inspector at New Scotland Yard. She followed that with 13 additional Dalgliesh mysteries and five other unrelated novels.  Her last novel, published in 2011, was Death Comes to Pemberley, a murder mystery that is a pastiche of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In an interview with The Guardian in 2012, James offered this writing advice:

1. Increase your word power. Increase your vocabulary. Words are our raw materials.

2. Practice writing.

3. Read widely, particularly of the best writing.

4. Learn to try and understand and sympathize with other people.

5. Go through life always open to experience. Nothing that happens to a writer, good or ill, is ever lost.

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
The Best Advice for Writers
Best Books for Writers

William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Responsibility of the Poet
The Power of Literature
Why Writers Write

For further reading: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jul/15/pd-james-author-interview-readers


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