According to UNESCO, almost half a million English language titles are published each year. That’s a lot of books.
If UNESCO ever turned its attention to counting the number of writing tips freely offered each year, they would arrive at a similarly engorged number. Google returns 167 million pages for the phrase “writing tips” alone.
The internet, and now Twitter too, are littered with supposed rules about “How To Write” – as if this was something prescriptive.
I’m not going to lob any offerings of my own into that landfill.
But I am going to collect writing tips from authors whose work suggests that they know what makes a great story work.
There’s a good collection of tips from superstar authors over at Buzzfeed, so I’m starting my collection of other writers’ tips with this.
I particularly like Elmore Leonard’s contibution – “I try to leave out the parts that people skip” – and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.”