Author Solutions: The Best Writing Advice from Famous Fiction Authors

When setting out to write a book, you may feel overwhelmed by the task. It helps to learn from those who have experience doing this work and especially from those who’ve been successful at it.  At Author Solutions, you can find many resources to help you get your book written and published.  Among the many services that the company provides is the ability to learn from the experiences of other successful authors.  As a service to their thousands of writers, Author Solutions also provides guidelines such as tips on how to improve your writing as well as how to get your manuscript published, distributed, and even made into a film!

Several renowned authors, working in all genres and in different markets and historical periods, have provided exceptional advice for all writers.

For example, Michael Moorcock, a prolific English writer of science fiction and fantasy, such as The Runestaff, The Jewel and the Skull, and The Whispering Swarm, among dozens of other books, credits fellow writer TH White, author of The Sword in the Stone and other Arthurian fantasies with giving him the following advice: “Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.”

Moorcock also advises fiction writers to structure their narrative as follows: “Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution.”

Rose Tremain, known for such renowned bestsellers as The Road Home, The Gustav Sonata, and Restoration, among many other award-winning titles, also suggests that authors should let the end of the story develop as you write it, rather than planning the ending of the book before allowing the development of character and plot to lead you to a logical conclusion. “In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it,” she advises.

Famous authors also stress the importance of creating the right circumstances in which to write. Prioritizing your writing time and avoiding unnecessary distractions is key to completing a project successfully.  “Protect the time and space in which you write,” stresses British writer Zadie Smith, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, and author of White Teeth and The Autograph Man, as well as several books of essays, including books on the art of writing itself. “Keep everybody away from it,” she advises, “even the people who are most important to you.”

Other writers, such as National Book Award winner Jonathan Franzen, author of books such as The Twenty-Seventh City, The Corrections, and Freedom, among dozens of other celebrated titles, provide similar advice stressing the importance of avoiding unnecessary distractions. “It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction,” he notes.

Will Self, author of Cock and Bull, My Idea of Fun, Umbrella, and The Book of Dave, among others, also attests to the importance of reading, affirming in a 2018 Guardian interview that he reads “as many as 50 books at once.”  He also confirms the importance of working in solitude without external distractions. “The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply.” Acknowledging the importance of prioritizing your ideas the moment they pop into your head, he also advises authors to “Always carry a note-book. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.”

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing),” advises Neil Gaiman, an English author of fantasy, horror and science fiction with titles such as American Gods and books adapted for the screen such as Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. “Write your story as it needs to be written,” he recommends. “Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

The great Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov, known for such classics as Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Seagull, reiterated the importance of engaging the reader with visual and sensory experiences. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining,” he wrote. “Show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

About Author Solutions

If you’re looking for insight and advice from fellow authors, as well as guidance on how to get your book published, turn to the world’s leading source of supported self-publishing services, Author Solutions, a company that has helped more than 250,000 authors across almost every genre bring to market more than 300,000 books in six continents. Author Solutions provides such key services as editing, publishing, marketing, and distribution, as well operating supported self-publishing imprints through strategic partnerships with traditional publishers and media companies including Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, Hay House, and Reader’s Digest.  The company also provides opportunities for authors to have their books adapted for  film and television projects through first look partnerships with production companies in Hollywood.

For more information on how Author Solutions can help you publish your book, contact

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