8 Writing Tips from C.S. Lewis

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32 Responses

  1. AR says:

    When Lewis says that a writer must thoroughly understand the meaning of each word he uses, I think that he means a different kind of understanding than one gets from Google definitions. Lewis was friends with several philologists and certainly he never used words in a way that contradicted their historical development. He complained in a poem that the English language was on its death-bed. I suggest that to follow this advice as intended, a writer needs not just a fat dictionary but an etymological dictionary.

  2. Henry says:

    Im actually into a magazine production, browsing to get info. Thank god im blessed here.

  3. Alexine says:

    Loved the list. Just one question. Is “The Shack” suppose to be considered a good book?

  4. Nicholas Anthony says:

    Number one is interesting. I realize C.S. Lewis was a literary genius, but I think that music can sometimes help a writer remain focused. Numerous writers, including Nobel Prize winners like Vladamir Nabokov and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, have spoken about their need for music while writing.

    Number three, on the other hand, is vital.

    @Paul Preston:
    You show a lot of promise in your writing. I want to encourage you to follow your vision.

  5. First time here, and loved this place! I will sure come back.


  6. Sam says:

    “8. Know the meaning of every word you use.”

    In a freshman course I taught at a Bible College, on the first day of class I would give a reading assignment, of a two-page essay. The assignment was this: “Read this tonight, and come to class next time ready to answer questions about its meaning.”

    The next class period would begin with a quiz – – a vocabulary quiz, using 25 of the words used in the two-page essay.

    The highest score ever achieved was 8 out of 25.

    My follow-up lesson for these new students? If you don’t know the words you’re reading, you’re not learning anything.

  7. Great list and your commentary is appreciated.

  8. Thanks for sharing Lewis’ thoughts (and yours). Very helpful. Being a pastor, almost everything I write I also plan to speak. I often will take the time to read what I have written out loud just to hear how it sounds. If it doesn’t make sense when I say it, then it proabably won’t make sense to a reader either. I suppose that is another good reason to be alone in a quiet place (that way when I talk to myself, I’m the only one who knows I’m nuts!).

  9. I appreciate this list, I need to learn to write more.

  10. Paul Preston says:

    Well, I don’t write well but I have been writing lately and I hope to get a book out soon. My blog at http://journalentries4.wordpress.com contains all my thoughts and I do hope that by furnishing my ideas and improving them, I could create a masterpiece (I hope!)

  11. Great list. Thanks so much for sharing. How cool to hear the actual advice of my FAVORITE writer!

  12. carole says:

    Nicely done!

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