21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors Tutorial

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21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

Even long and experienced writers can do with getting a refresher on writing tips, so I was just taking a look to see what was about for gleaming something I can learn to improve and better my own writing skills which I can then share on with you on here and the whole world. Hopefully and maybe fulfilling my purpose and destiny. Well isn't that why all writers write?

And I came across these 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors throughout time. And it shines a light on a very harsh but true and inspiring world of what famous writers have said and lived with in their lifetime when it comes to writing and or being a writer and author. And it's true what they say how many people think they can write well or even paint or draw or sing karaoke or direct movies or whatever, but being artistic doesn't necessarily make you an artist. You can face severe criticism, but the critics can sometimes be severely wrong!

For example, some of the most famous writers from history have failed over and over and some more and faced harsh rejections and criticisms for their work.

  • Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies.
  • Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions.
  • Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt rejection letter that simply read, “I don’t dig this one at all.”
  • Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.”
  • Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together.
And what can you learn from that as a writer or author even? Well it's that even if you're a writer/author that will be remembered through the ages for your works/writings and ramblings, or even if you're not yet, you will still likely face criticism and even rejection and maybe even get mocked for it too before you reach that kind of level of fame.

And having been through all of that in their life, these famous authors share their no punches held writing tips for dealing with criticism and rejection if you ever come across it in your life. Such as when submitting your latest novel for review and helping you to be prepared for it mentally when a publishing powerhouse does!

1. The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway
The importance of being Ernest. Ernest is a guy that shoots from the hip and tells it like it is!

Let's face it, the first draft is the scrap draft, the getting started jambo. It's messy and needs to be read through to improve it. That's like with anything though really when it comes to writing a book, a story like a novel anyway. Your first draft usually starts off with by telling the story or describing what the book is about and on who and what people are going to be in for.

2. Never use jargon words like reconceptualisation, demassification, attitudinally, longitudinally etc. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. -David Ogilvy
I just love this one! Such a great bit of advice to follow because overuse of these words, or even using them a little, can make it look like you're trying to appear smart and nobody likes a smart ass!

But more than this, these kinds of long and sophisticated words can just alienate people and literally, some people might not even know what those words mean. I find it's best to stay somewhere in the middle depending on the topic I'm writing about. If it's something to do with psychology or rocket science I'll use technical jargon but if it's for something like mental health or cookie recipe simple words.

3. If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker
To understand this and appreciate its satirical humor and wit you need to know about and understand the author of it. Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. And her book The Elements of Style is a book that had a lot of affect on the styles that Americans adopted and do today. Despite this it also has a way of allowing you to see the shallowness and superficiality of it all which is why shooting them would be doing them a favour!

4. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux
Paul knows what he's talking about and he's written many great novels, some of which have gone on to be turned into feature films. And I agree with what he's saying and respect him for saying it. As a writer, nobody is going to help you with that. If you want to write a novel, who and how can someone help you with that when it all needs to and can only come from your head? Mind you, leaving home seems extreme if you're not ready to yet.

5. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee
Did you ever read the book and or see the movie To Kill a Mockingbird? That was Nelle Harper Lee that wrote it and she faced a lot of criticism in her life for many of the books she wrote. She's dead now but her words are safe words of wisdom to live by for anyone that's thinking about being a freelance writer, an entrepreneurial writer or author. Because sometimes in your career, you may face scathing criticism or rejection. Harsh words that are designed to cut deep. Sometimes from the haters that love it so much they are jealous and say something like it or those that just had that opinion at that time.

And from that, you can either let it get you down, or, you can use the steam to power your dreams!

Okay well I have more of these but this is getting quite long now so I'll post more of them later on with what they said and my paraphrases. 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

What do you think of these writing tips from these famous authors?

Have you learned anything from them?

Do you know of any more like it?


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What I understand with the meaning of draft is that it is meant for a review. I remember in school when we were writing essay work, we called it rough draft. Our grade school teacher would always say that the rough draft is the skeleton of our essay which means it has no meat simply because it is rough. And I have to agree that the first draft is indeed trash compared to the finished product. That’s why it is all right to write the draft in a hurry but you have to spend more time in polishing it.

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You've got to love David Ogilvy. He is right on the money in my opinion. The days of writing complicated pros and calling yourself a good writer are dead and gone.Simple does the trick.I enjoy writing. It's a way to express myself, as I try to write mostly on topics that I have opinions on.I have learned the hard way, that inevitably you will face some kind of rejection. You need to develop a tough hide,and learn that it's no reflection on you. So long as you do your best.

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Our views, views in the draft and views of prospective publishers may not match. We never really know a draft that will go viral or not. Some proofreaders may not read thoroughly through the draft. Some would be publishers may have preconceived ideas about the draft.

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Thanks for the Tips. I was reading a book that talks about a writer who was once rejected severally by authors. They always said his work is bad but after years of rejection he published and made millions of sales.

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“You can face severe criticism, but the critics can sometimes be severely wrong!”
Your discussion took me in a slightly different direction from authors. These people are singers. But it is about people who persist. Before there were shows like “American Idol” and “X-Factor”, there was a show I used to watch called “Star Search”. This show was a contest. People from all walks of life and all ages came to showcase their talents. Talk about harsh criticism. It's pretty harsh on a kid when they lose a contest that they were hoping was just one step up their ladder to success. The funny thing is that I didn't even notice these people – these little children - who are now superstars! These children DID NOT WIN!! These children did not let losing a contest stop them. Who are these children now? Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake! Losers? NOT!! The contest judges were wrong.

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