How to write well

Amy linked to this list of tips for writers the other day. It applies to any application of the written word. A bunch of authors supplied tips to the Guardian on how to be a writer – this has got to be one of the most comprehensive collections of these types I’ve ever seen assembled. It’s so big it has been split over two entries.

  • If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: “Niet” becomes “Nietzsche”, “phoy” becomes ­”photography” and so on. ­Genius!
  • A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn’t spin a bit of magic, it’s missing something.
  • Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.