Many do not realise imitation is a good start to learning the art of writing. It actually helps strengthen our technical skills. Some notable writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Jack London, and Benjamin Franklin practiced writing by literally copying from masters whom they admired.

Hunter S.Thompson used his old type-writer and re-typed books such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ and a lot of books by Norman Mailer and Hemingway. He once said, “If you type out somebody’s work, you learn a lot about it. Amazingly it’s like music. And from typing out parts of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald – these were writers that were very big in my life and the lives of the people around me – so yea I wanted to learn from the best I guess.”

Likewise, Jack London also taught himself how to write by copying every page of Rudyard Kipling’s books in longhand as he believed that was the best way for him to learn the same rhythms and vibrant phrases as Kipling’s.

Unknown to many, Benjamin Franklin diligently studied his favourite authors’ works. He pulled apart his favourite books by Jon Ronson, Oscar Wilde, J.K. Rowling and Gene Weingarten. He made spreadsheets of how they opened their chapters, set up tension between scenes, used diction, how they incorporated dialogues, how they used adjectives and the types of words with which they used to end sentences and scenes.

So start off your writing journey with our compilation of good phrases/writing by different authors.

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