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Isabella Biedenharn
April 10, 2017 AT 01:26 PM EDT

April 10 marks National Encourage A Young Writer Day, and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of the best advice our favorite authors have given to the aspiring writers who will (maybe) join their ranks one day. Check out their pearls of wisdom below — and for deeper reading, we recommend Stephen King’s On Writing and Colum McCann’s Letters to a Young Writer

Stephen King

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” — Stephen King, On Writing

Joyce Carol Oates

J.K. Rowling

Colum McCann

“Maybe in this day and age we are diseased by plot. Let’s face it, plots are good for movies, but when over-considered they tend to make books creak. So, unbloat your plot. Listen for the quiet line. Anyone can tell a big story, yes, but not everyone can whisper something beautiful in your ear.” — Colum McCann, Letters from a Young Writer

Elmore Leonard

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” — Elmore Leonard, The New York Times, 7/16/2001

Anne Rice

“I’ve often said there are no rules for writers. Let me share the WORST AND MOST HARMFUL ADVICE I was ever given by others. 1) Write what you know. 2) You’ll have to polish every sentence you write three or four times. 3) Genius is one tenth talent and nine tenths hard work, and 4) You’re not a real writer if you don’t write every day. — ALL OF THAT WAS HARMFUL TO ME. ALL OF IT. IT HURT ME AND SET ME BACK. —– So I say again, there are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their cliches and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams. Protect your voice, your vision, your characters, your story, your imagination, your dreams.” — Anne Rice on Facebook, March, 31, 2014

Neil Gaiman

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” — Neil Gaiman, from his website

Diana Gabaldon

“A good day is any day when you get words on the page. A bad day is when you don’t.” — Diana Gabaldon, The Outlandish Companion

Kurt Vonnegut

“I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

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