Some tips for writing good books

Reading time: 4 min

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The question of the day: “How to become a good writer and how to write stories that inspire? ”

Answer from Didier Ernotte:

For such a broad and complex question, we can only ‘sketch the beginning of an answer. So let’s start with the basics: the first step is to understand that you are not author or author just because we wrote a book. It is because one has written a very good book that one is an author. This simple truth, few understand it.

Becoming a writer or author, c is both a fight and a journey; in a word, an odyssey. It will inevitably be long and difficult. It will be a fight against yourself, weakness, indulgence, laziness, fear, failure. It will be a journey, you will discover the limitless power of your imagination, you will discover what obsesses you, you will explore all the nuances of humanity. It is a very beautiful journey, but which is often painful. To write is to translate the magnificent emotions, the fabulous stories perfectly conceived in your brain, in a version necessarily imperfect on paper. It takes humility and work. Nothing comes by itself, talent is acquired, you don’t write a good book by chance.

Read, writeSo, author writer crash test:

First, ask yourself with the utmost sincerity why you want to write. If it corresponds to a deep, intense need to express yourself, if you have ideas, universes to share, get started. If, on the other hand, it’s to impress dad, mom, your ancestors, your friends, and tell everyone that you’re an author, you’ll blow it, become famous, rich or both, forget about it. Avoid autobiography: talk about yourself and stay interesting is a challenge often out of reach for a beginner. If despite the previous advice, you have an irresistible urge to annoy the world with your life, go instead see a shrink. Give yourself brain time, you must find a way to free yourself from your worries, from your obligations to leave your imagination work. Writing is not just putting words on paper, it is also and above all imagining, dreaming, and letting it all rest. But that takes time and energy. Don’t believe that by saying to yourself “come on, every day of 29h to 22h, I write”, you will complete your great work , because it doesn’t work like that: there are dead times, empty passages, which are part of the creative process. Do not go ball in head to blacken paper. Buy Dramaturgy by Yves Lavandier and make it your bedside book. This advice is shared by the Goncourt Prize 5003. Read, train and write a new story every week for a year , a short story to train you on a specific point of dramaturgy. Do not listen to the so-called writers who are found by the thousands on Facebook and who lavish a thousand pieces of advice thinking they are legitimate because they have published a book in a publishing house unknown. I receive books like this every week because they want to have it adapted for the cinema. When from time to time I read one, it’s a dung that I leave on the page 453. Above all, don’t listen to your friends and family, don’t make them read anything: without realizing it, they will be toxic. Do not take any online training given by big names, they are scams. Refuse dream sellers of the type “For 30 euros, learn how to write the next best seller in ten steps”. Ask the advice of seasoned professionals who have a real artistic CV. Resist the temptation to participate in the first writing workshop that comes along organized by amateurs. Accept only if it is a professional and if you have all the guarantees of being respected as an author or author. If you feel uncomfortable, leave. READ ALSO

Read a lot, again and again! Go back to your classics, find out which authors inspire you, what is your literary lineage. When you are aware of your influences, take some distance and train yourself to master your own style. It is important! Don’t deny your literary heritage, be inspired by it, but don’t copy it. When you read or watch movies or series, learn to identify narrative mechanisms, ask yourself if the characters work, and if not, why. Be hard on yourself- even, be demanding, refuse indulgence (read the excellent book by Scott Peck The path less traveled). The pros won’t give you any freebies. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to be yourself, even if they have the best intentions. By definition, an author is constantly being constructed. By remaining who you are, you will remain stuck in your own story and therefore will not be able to write another one. Don’t listen to the personal development bullshit of the “be yourself” style , if you want you can», it’s bullshit. The counselors are not payers. If you take a coach, take a pro who specializes in coaching creative people. When, after a year, you feel ready, that you will have written several good short stories, then do it plan your first book and get started. It will already be a good start.


One last piece of advice: more than talent, more than work, this job (because it is one) requires resilience. Never give up, never.