C. S. Lewis was not only a great writer of books but a caring man who answered his mail and never missed an opportunity to encourage young writers. In 1959 an American schoolgirl wrote to C. S. Lewis asking him for advice on the craft of writing. He sent her a list of eight rules.
1. Turn off the radio.
2. Read good books and avoid most magazines.
4. Write only about things that interest you. If you have no interests, you won’t ever be a writer.
5. Be clear. Remember that readers can’t know your mind. Don’t forget to tell them exactly what they need to know to understand you.
6. Save odds and ends of writing attempts, because you may be able to use them later.
7. You need a well-trained sense of word-rhythm, and the noise of a typewriter will interfere.
8. Know the meaning of every word you use.
Not many of us even think about typewriters and radios anymore but we are still surrounded by distractions that can blur our focus and rob us of some jewel that might have been. Lewis’s advice is just as alive today as it was nearly 60 years ago when he first penned this list.
- C. S. Lewis Quotes on Pets (andrealundgren.wordpress.com)
- “I admired [C.S. Lewis’] use of parenthetical statements to the reader, where he would just…” (timoni.org)