C. S. Lewis Rules

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.

3. Write with the ear, not the eye. Make every sentence sound good.CS Lewis Writing

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under C. S. Lewis

2 responses to “C. S. Lewis Rules

  1. MJH

    Reblogged this on The Wordhoard and commented:
    As I frantically write the last sections of my thesis, some wisdom from C S Lewis for all who write.

  2. Never saw this from the great C.S. Lewis. This is a tall order for us in the information age, but he speaks like St. John the Baptist from the desert. Should send his words to the educational establishment who constantly assumes that more technology equals better learning.

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