So you can read my books

Friday, November 16, 2012


“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself.

The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book.

The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.”
Marcel Proust

John Steinbeck:

"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is,

no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another.

The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader.

If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it.

You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer.

He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937).

Now, for John Steinbeck's 8 tips to make your writing great:

1.) Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2.) Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3.) Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4.) If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5.)Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6.) If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.


  1. I do that, I read my dialogue out loud. It works. You'll know it as you read it.

    Revising on the go is something I've always done, even when I try to avoid it. (it's ingrained)

    Thanks for the tips, Roland and Steinbeck.

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  3. "Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down."
    Steinbeck would've enjoyed NaNo then!
    I'm always relieved when I reach the end...

  4. Ack! Is is only me that can't see tips, 7 & 8???

    Always love hearing from the legends.

  5. D.G.:
    I say it loud in the shower, too (I sound like James Earl Jones then!) and while I drive my blood runs. It does help as you say.

    THe ghost of John Steinbeck and I are happy that you found something useful in this post.

    I wondered about tips #1 and #2. One says one page a day and the other says write as quickly as possible. I guess the Masters can be arbitrary if they want! LOL.

    (Hangs head in shame) I was thinking Kurt's EIGHT rules for good short story telling. Sigh.

    I can only plead that I had driven 400 miles yesterday when I posted. I then drove 200 miles more since. Whew!

  6. Fabulous tips Mr. Steinbeck and I definitely agree that stories and poems come from a magical place.

  7. The Desert Rocks:
    Now,if you and I could just find a passage to that magic place, right?