So you want to be a better writer? Maybe its for a blog, maybe its for your creative fiction, or maybe its just for essays assigned to you at school. Either way, over the next few days I will be giving you 4 Tips that will help you become a better writer. and Tip #3.
A few days ago I gave you Tip #1, Tip #2, and Tip #3. Here is your final tip!
4. Reread and Rewrite.
Justice Brandeis: “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”
James A Michener: “I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s great rewriters.”
Michael Crichton: Books aren’t written—they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
Roald Dahl: “Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.”
Elmore Leonard: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
Vladimir Nabokov: “I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.”
Helen Dunmore: “Reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite. If it still doesn’t work, throw it away. It’s a nice feeling, and you don’t want to be cluttered with the corpses of poems and stories which have everything in them except the life they need.”
Raymond Chandler: “Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”
Will Self: “Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in the edit.”
Via Justin Taylor