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I want to be a writer, but how ?

From: Raymond Feist
Date: 27 February 2008

There's not a lot I can tell you that will guarantee success, but if you have the talent, there are a few things I'd share with you.

First of all: study everything.  Not literally, of course, but have enough contact with a variety of interests so that when your writing skills mature, you'll have something to write about.

When/if you go to university, don't study literature.  Read as much of it as time permits, but don't be a lit major.  Study history, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, communications, theater, anything but Lit.  Because in Lit you'll learn way too much about the history of literature, what other people think of other writers, but nothing about how to craft story.  To be well educated in the Western tradition, you must find time to read some of the Bible, some Shakespeare, the Greeks, Plutarch, Marcus Arelius, Cicero, classic myth, Graves, some of the Russians, Melville, Austin, Twain the great poets, and anything else that was influential in the creation of the Western literary tradition.  

Mostly in school, take every course that requires you to write about things.  Write about history, politics, sociology, etc.  Because that will discipline your mind in how to communicate meaning.

Lastly, keep writing.  Write until you're sick of it and then keep writing until you get over being sick of it.

If you can do that and keep at it, you're a writer.  If you can't, you're someone who thinks you want to be a writer.  Big difference.

Best, R.E.F.

FAQ answers attributed to Raymond E. Feist are copyright by Raymond E. Feist.
It should also be born in mind that the answer given was only applicable on the date written, and to a specific question. You may find further, similar questions, in the FAQ.


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