Are you stuck in the middle of writing process and cannot move on? Here comes John Steinbeck with his six simple tips on writing, picked from his brilliant interview in 1975. Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize-winner shared his precious experience and profound knowledge with the writers from all over the globe.
1. Don’t think about the fact that one day you’re going to get your writing done. Lose track of 600 (or more) pages and try to produce one page a day. It really helps! In other words, when you’re done, you’ll be 100% surprised!
2. Write as it comes and as quickly as you can in order to throw it all on the sheet of paper. Never check the whole content for errors until the last dot. Rewriting in the middle of the writing process is a sign that you’re stuck and cannot go on.
3. Abandon the idea that you have a target audience. Remember it while writing – your audience is just one silent reader. It helps to choose a single person that you’re close to and write to that one.
4. If a scene gets the better of the writer (you) and you still truly believe you want it – sidestep it and go further. When you’ve coped with the whole you have an opportunity to come back to it. Perhaps, then you’ll find out the reason it was a problem because this section/scene didn’t belong right there.
5. Be careful to face the scene that is too dear to you! Beware to have something in your writing that is dearer than the whole thing for the reason that, at the end, you will find out it is out of context.
6. If you make use of dialogues – make certain to say them clearly and out loud as you’re writing. In such case your prose will “sound” like a speech!
Right after receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, John Steinbeck shared valuable advice: if you feel like there’s magic in your story, no one will ever be able to turn it into a recipe that is handed from one person to another. The formula of success is in the writer’s aching urge to put into words something he feels important to a target audience. If you, as the author, have that very urge, you will 100% find the way to convey it to the reader. You have to absorb the excellence that makes a good writing good or the mistakes that make your writing a bad one.
In case you’re stuck, make sure to get familiar with the hints provided by John Steinbeck, that are still hot even half a century from the day they were born!