Writing Advice From Authors I’ve Read

Have you ever read a novel and wondered “How did the author write such great dialogue?” or “How can I write like her?”

Sometimes after reading a book I liked, I’ll check out the author’s website. I’m excited when I see they have a page of writing advice.

Here’s writing advice from some authors I’ve read. Hope you enjoy:

Chuck Palahniuk: “When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. “

Read more writing advice from Chuck Palahniuk.

John Steinbeck: “If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.”

Read more writing advice from John Steinbeck.

Marissa Meyer: “Determine what your writing goals are and when and how you’re going to make them happen, and if your plan doesn’t include actual words on paper within the near future, then rework your plan until it does.”

Read more writing advice from Marissa Meyer.

Madeline L’Engle: “Risk is essential. It’s scary. Every time I sit down and start the first page of a novel I am risking failure. We are encouraged in this world not to fail …  We are encouraged only to do that which we can be successful in. But things are accomplished only by our risk of failure. Writers will never do anything beyond the first thing unless they risk growing.”

Read more writing advice from Madeline L’Engle.

Neil Gaiman: “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”

More writing advice from Neil Gaiman.

Photo by Jake Colvin from Pexels


  1. Palahniuk’s advice actually works. You might write some real crap in that situation, but at least you have something on paper (or on screen) that you can revise and make better.

    1. It’s true. My version of his advice is to write just one sentence when I’m not in the writing mood. I tell myself if I write just one sentence, then I can stop. But I usually end up writing for a half hour or so. Side note: have you read his books? There’s Fight Club of course. His books are insane! It’s been a while since I’ve read one, so I think I’m going to have to find one for my to-read list.

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