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How To Be A Wordsmith: 6 Writers Offer Their Top Tips

So You Want To Be A Wordsmith …

It’s never been a better time to become a wordsmith. Whether you want to be a blogger, freelance writer, screenwriter, or author, there’s lots of information and tools online for you.

If you want to be a wordsmith too, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled tips from some of the greatest writers on how to get started and succeed in writing! Let’s go …

1) Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas is a well-known young adult novelist in the United States. She is best known for her novel The Hate U Give. Her second young adult novel, On The Come Up was released on February 25, 2019.

  1. Study writing. Read books like the one you want to write. Read books and websites that discuss craft.
  2. Network with fellow writers. Learn and grow with them.
  3. If you want to get published traditionally, research it
  4. Write through the doubt, write terribly. Just write

MORE: More writing tips from top author Dorothy Koomson 

2) Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most influential American authors of the last century. Many of Vonnegut’s works like Sirens of Titan and Cat’s Cradle have become classics of humanitarian fiction.

  1. Don’t waste your reader’s time.
  2. Give the reader at least one character you want to root for.
  3. Each character should wish for something, even if it’s just a glass of water.
  4. Each sentence should serve one of two purposes: to reveal the character or to move events forward.
  5. Start as close to the finale as possible.
  6. Be sadistic. No matter how cute and innocent your main characters are, do terrible things to them. The reader needs to see what they’re made of.
  7. Write to please only one person. If you open a window and make love to the whole world, so to speak, your story will catch pneumonia.

MORE: Writing With Style: 8 Tips From Kurt Vonnegut

3) Michael Moorcock

Michael Moorcock is contemporary British wordsmith who is very popular among fantasy fans. Moorcock’s key work is the multi-volume cycle about Elric of Melnibone.

He borrowed his first rule from Terence Hanbury White, author of The Sword in the Stone, and other works about King Arthur.

  1. 1. The rule was: Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. I always advise people who want to write fantasy, or science fiction, or romance, to stop reading those genres and take on everything else, from John Bunyan to Antonia Byatt.
  2. Find an author you admire (mine was Conrad) and copy his plots and characters for your own story. Be an artist who imitates a master to learn how to paint.
  3. If you write story-oriented prose, introduce the main characters and major themes in the first third. You can call it an introduction.
  4. Develop themes and characters in the second third, the development of the work.
  5. Wrap up the themes, mysteries, and more in the final third-the denouement.
  6. When possible, accompany the introductions to the characters and their philosophies with various actions. This helps maintain dramatic tension.
  7. Stick and carrot: characters should be pursued (obsession or villain) and pursued (ideas, objects, personalities, mysteries).

4) Henry Miller

Henry miller is an American writer of the 20th century. He is famous for such scandalous works for his time as Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, and Black Spring.

  1. Work on one thing until you’re done.
  2. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly and joyfully on whatever you are doing.
  3. Act according to a plan, not a mood. Stop at the appointed time.
  4. When you can’t create, work.
  5. Cement a little bit each day instead of putting in new fertilizer.
  6. Stay human! Meet people, visit different places, have a drink if you like.
  7. Don’t turn into a workhorse! Work only with pleasure.
  8. Deviate from the plan if you need to, but get back to it the next day. Focus. Concretize. Eliminate.
  9. Forget about the books you want to write. Think only of the one you’re writing.
  10. Write quickly and always. Drawing, music, friends, movies, it’s all after work.

5) Anton Chekhov

This wordsmith is a master of short prose and a classic of Russian literature and hardly needs an introduction!

  1. It is very easy to become a writer. Don’t be timid… Put the paper in front of you, take the pen in your hand, and write!
  2. If you want to be published and read widely, that’s the difficult part! Read lots and have a talent the size of at least a lentil seed.
  3. If you want to write, do this: choose your subject first. You have complete freedom. Write whatever you want, just avoid topics that have been discussed a lot.
  4. Give free rein to your imagination. Don’t let it chase the number of lines. Brevity doesn’t spoil things at all.

MORE: John Steinbeck’s Top 6 Writing Tips

6) Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is a contemporary British writer. She is bestselling author of White Teeth, The Autograph Collector, and On Beauty.

  1. If you’re still a kid, make sure you read a lot. Spend more time on it than on anything else.
  2. If you’re an adult, try to read your work as a stranger would. Or better yet, as your enemy would read it.
  3. Don’t exalt your “vocation.” You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writing lifestyle.” All that matters is what you leave on the page.
  4. Take substantial pauses between writing and editing.
  5. Always write on a computer that is not connected to the Internet.
  6. Protect your work time and space, even from the people most important to you.
  7. Don’t confuse honours and accomplishments.

MORE: Read even more tips from top authors and screenwriters

Don’t Wait, Become A Wordsmith

The main thing is that you must have a passionate desire to write. You must be in love with your characters. Decide what you want to write about, what inspires you, expands your horizons. Never start writing just for money – it’s a waste of time. If your editor requests you make changes, do them!

Accept constructive criticism from professionals. Write down your thoughts and ideas. Learn to choose the right words that will interest the reader. It’s quite possible to become a wordsmith just like you want.

I wish you the best of luck!

BIO: Hannah Butler works as an essay writer in, a company that provides expert paper help for students. She likes sharing her experience in the form of articles. In her free time, Hannah enjoys rock climbing and bike riding.

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