46 tidløse skriveråd

Lad os starte med en ubehagelig, men nødvendig sandhed om at skrive:

The first draft of anything is shit. – Ernest Hemingway

At skrive godt er ganske enkelt hårdt arbejde. Det er forfatteres yndlingssætning. Og det er nu meget rart for alle os andre, at skrivekunsten ikke ser ud til at være noget medfødt: Vi kan alle lære at skrive godt og engagerende og få vores kernebudskab igennem, så modtageren handler, som vi ønsker.

Hos bro skriver vi meget og underviser også i det. Læs mere om vores arbejde med tekst.

Jeg håber, du læser dette indlæg til ende, så vi sammen kan spare verden for flere misforståede sms’er, uklare mails og dårlige breve. Her får du nøjagtigt 46 inspirerende skriveråd fra nogle af de største forfattere og formidlere i verdenshistorien.

Find inspirationen, når du ikke skriver

Et blankt stykke papir uden en god ide kan være dræbende. Det er der råd for. Eksempelvis at jagte inspirationen med en kølle – fuld af selvtillid.

1.You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club.

– Jack London

2. My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.

– Anaïs Nin

3. When I’m looking for an idea, I’ll do anything – clean the closet, mow the lawn, work in the garden.

– Kevin Henkes

4.The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

– Sylvia Plath

Luk døren, og fjern din skriveblokering

Hvis teksten sidder fast, så prøv at skrive, som om ingen skal læse det. Skriv præcis, hvad du tænker og føler. Det er den fase, Stephen King kalder ’at skrive med døren lukket’. Når du så (i overført betydning) åbner døren, tænker du på modtageren og retter teksten til med målet for øje.

5.Write with the door closed, and rewrite with the door open.

– Stephen King

6.If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.

– Hilary Mantel

7.I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But, as a writer, you have to believe in the words.

– Roy Blount, Jr.

8.Wait, wait, wait. Don’t try to write through it, to force it. Many do, but that won’t work. Just wait, it will come.

– Toni Morrison

9.Writer's block … a lot of howling nonsense would be avoided if, in every sentence containing the word WRITER, that word was taken out and the word PLUMBER substituted; and the result examined for the sense it makes. Do plumbers get plumber's block? What would you think of a plumber who used that as an excuse not to do any work that day?

– Philip Pullman

Kom i gang ved at gå i gang

Teksten skriver ikke sig selv. Løsningen er ofte bare at gå i gang – og blive ved.

10.Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.

– Cory Doctorow

11.Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.

– Zadie Smith

12.The Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around ”getting ready”, the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. Resistance loves it when we hesitate, when we over-prepare. The answer: plunge in.

– Steven Pressfield

13.Write, write, and write some more. Think of writing as a muscle that needs lot of exercise.

– Jane Yolen

14.There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

– Ernest Hemingway

Research er din bedste ven

Hvor mange er det egentlig, der opfinder den dybe tallerken? Ikke mange. Kunsten er at gøre viden til din egen og formidle den til dit specifikke formål.

15. You cannot write well without data.

– George Higgins

16.Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

– T. S. Eliot

Hold tråden rød

Er formålet med teksten ikke klart? Så har du måske uld i hovedet. Problemet er bare, at teksten så også har en tendens til at blive ulden.

17.Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.

– David Ogilvy

18.Work extra hard on the beginning of your story, so it snares readers instantly. And know how you’re going to end your story before you start writing; without a sense of direction, you can get lost in the middle.

– Joan Lowery Nixon

Det er ikke dig, teksten handler om

Modtageren er tekstens vigtigste formål. Hvordan vil du gerne have modtageren til at reagere? Handle?

19.Pity the reader. They have to identify thousands of little marks on paper, and make sense of them immediately. They have to read, an art so difficult that most people don’t really master it even after having studied it all through grade school and high school – twelve long years.

– Kurt Vonnegut

20. Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing. If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your readers will surely feel that you care nothing about them. They will mark you down as an egomaniac or a chowderhead – or, worse, they will stop reading you.

– Kurt Vonnegut

21.Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

– David Ogilvy

22.When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

– Neil Gaiman

23.If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

– David Ogilvy

Ordene er i din magt

… Hvis du formår at udskille de mest nedslidte og klichefyldte af dem.

24.Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

– David Ogilvy

25.Substitute ”damn” every time you’re inclined to write ”very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

– Mark Twain

26.All our words from loose using have lost their edge.

– Ernest Hemingway

27.Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.

– Joyce Carol Oates

28.… Figurative language adds pizzazz. It raises work above the plain, the dull, the ordinary.

– Ellen Hunnicutt

29.Write the way you talk. Naturally.

– David Ogilvy

Personligt, ja – fordømmende, nej tak

Det er vigtigt at skrive personligt, men pas på med for mange subjektive betragtninger, der lægger ord i munden på din læser. Måske er de uenige.

30.Begin with an individual and you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created – nothing.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

31.If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

– Virginia Woolf

Vær opmærksom på arkitekturen, der binder indholdet sammen

Du er måske teksternes svar på Taj Mahal, men hvis tegnsætningen fejler, stavefejlene hober sig op, og teksterne bliver for tunge og truende, så mister du din læser.

32.Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100.000 words of prose.

– Elmore Leonard

33.Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say; they are maps of intent.

– Stephen King

34.Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences.

– Terry Pratchett

35.Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.

–Ernest Hemingway

Et klart budskab trumfer alt

’Keep it simple’ er muligvis alle skriveråds moder …

36.Keep it simple. Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, write sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ”To be or not to be?”(…) The Bible opens with a sentence well within the writing skills of a lively fourteen-year-old: ”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

– Kurt Vonnegut

37.My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.

– Anton Tjekhov

38.The concrete is better than the abstract. The detail is better than the commonplace. The sensual (through the senses) is better than the intellectual. The visual is better than the mental.

– Ellen Hunnicutt

Skær! Klip! Cut!

Stop dig selv, når du tæsker rundt i et ord, der bare ikke vil finde sig til rette i din tekst. Slet det.

39. Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

– Stephen King

40.Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

41.When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.

– Stephen King

42.I rewrite a great deal. I’m always fiddling, always changing something. I’ll write a few words – then I’ll change them. I add. I subtract. I work and fiddle and keep working and fiddling, and I only stop at the deadline.

– Ellen Goodman

Og husk så …

43.There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.

– Ernest Hemingway

Og …

44.You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

– Saul Bellow

Men …

45.If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go tell the guy what you want …

– David Ogilvy

Og sidst, men på ingen måde mindst …

46.Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.

– Lev Grossman

Har du også et godt skriveråd, er du meget velkommen til at bidrage til listen i kommentarfeltet.

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