8 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk to Improve Your Essay Today

Chuck Palahniuk is the icon of modern literature. His stories and novels may be controversial and even inflict shock on the most sensitive of the readers, but nevertheless, they made a huge impact on modern writing. His award-winning novel "Fight Club" has made it to the incredibly successful movie that left his mark on mainstream culture and even started a similar "fight club" movement. Palahniuk is as much a "father" of this as J. R. R. Tolkien is the "father" of all the Live-Action Role-Play games.

Chuck's writing style is also very distinguishable between the other writers. You may read a paragraph or two, even without seeing the author's name on the cover, and say that the text was written by Palanhiuk. He has lots of fans who want to write like him - luckily, in addition to his gorgeous books he wrote a set of essays about mastering writing and finding your own style. Here we collected some tips taken from these essays - hope they'll help you start writing!

1. Egg timer method

Sometimes we all experience a lack of inspiration. We just don't want to write. Chuck advises to set an egg timer for half an hour (or an hour for the boldest ones) and make yourself write until it rings. The quality of writing doesn't matter in this case. If you still don't want to write after this time, you're free for today, but usually, you start to enjoy writing. You may use any home chores instead of your egg timer - alternating writing with some physical work that will reboot your brain.

2. Tie your new scene to the other ones

Think about your new scene before writing it. How does it connect to the other ones? What will it add to the later scenes, and how will it help move on your plot? The idea may come to you any time you are doing something else - just don't let it go away, write it down shortly right there and then and later, when you have time, write the whole scene down and make sure that it is meaningful.

3. Re-read your text if you are stuck

If you don't know what to write further, read what you wrote before. Maybe, you left some storyline hanging, and some characters ambiguous - can you use it in the new scene? It might be a single sentence that will work as a meaningful echo and kick start the whole new plot turn. Also, inspire yourself with other essays, the topic doesn’t matter. You can even read creative law essays on LawAspect to see the author’s style and find inspiration.

4. Throw writing parties

No payment is worth alienating yourself from the others. Get engaged in weekly writing workshops that may be anything: from exchanging your experience to plain socializing with fellow writers. This will help you both get the fresh ideas and keep your work-life balance right. Such workshops may create precious moments to remember later and give you inspiration.

5. Don't overcontrol the plot

Allow yourself to not know what comes further. Lots of famous writers say that sometimes the plot just writes itself. Let it all sit, allow the story to take shape, enjoy adding details and polishing the text. Don't try to force the ending. Knowing what will happen in the next scene or several scenes is enough. The story should amaze you as much as the readers.

6. Don't get sentimental about characters

Sometimes the logic of the plot demands to kill or erase the character in any other way, or, what is worse, torture them physically or mentally. But if you got too used to a certain Alice or Bob, you wouldn't be able to do this, or you'll share their emotional pain. If you need more freedom while writing, try changing their names. This will help you not to think of them as real people, your acquaintances, friends, or even the parts of yourself.

7. Write dialogues naturally

Mix the descriptive, instructive, and expressive forms of speech to make dialogs more natural. Let your characters speak like real people, expressing their emotions, giving instructions to others, and telling about something. Just listen to how people talk.

8. Write about something that touches you

The best stories are emotionally loaded ones. The brain loves stories. Life is too short to write stories that are smooth, pleasant, but don't tap into your own soul. You should know, understand and perceive what you are writing about and feel emotionally connected to it. That's what allows you to write stories that your audience will believe in. They will feel the emotions you put into your words, and that's what they are taking the book for.


The last but the most important piece of advice given in Chuck's essays is very short: write something you want to read by yourself. You are your first and foremost critic and you are also your first reader. Write something that fascinates you, something you can say "I needed this text, but there was none, so I wrote it" about. Will it be the novel, a short story, an essay, or even a textbook - if you feel that you need it, it will be a great piece.

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