Stephen Fry’s advice for writers.

Stephen Fry is known to the general public as an actor, presenter and generally funny man. This man has also written four novels and many scripts. He has this advice for beginning authors and readers alike.


Stephen Fry

Cover of Stephen Fry


Read slowly – Savour every word and every line.  Reading verse can be like eating chocolate – so much more pleasurable when you allow it slowly to melt inside of you, so much less rewarding when you snap off big chunks and bolt them whole, all but untasted.  In our age, one of the glories of poetry is that it remains an art that demonstrates the virtues and pleasures of taking your time. You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast.

Read out loud – Among the pleasures of poetry is the sheer physical, sensual, textural, tactile pleasure of feeling the words on your lips, tongue, teeth and vocal chords.

Don’t look for meaning – Never worry about ‘meaning’ when you are reading poems. A relationship with the whole art of poetry itself takes time. Allow meaning to emerge at its own pace.

Be ready to write – Buy a notebook, exercise book or jotter pad and lots of pencils. Take it with you everywhere. When you are stuck in an airport, travelling by train, just doodle with words. Write, don’t type. As you learn new techniques and methods for producing lines of verse, practise them all the time.

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~ by Sander on September 11, 2012.

2 Responses to “Stephen Fry’s advice for writers.”

  1. Wow! I only knew Mr. Fry from the awesome BBC show Top Gear. I had no idea that he was such a well-versed figure! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    I’ve recently made the transition to drafting everything longhand and have been pleasantly surprised at the joy I am getting from it. Fry’s advice on “doodling with words” is definitely something that I’ll be trying on my bus rides to class!

    Great job finding this excellent advice as always!

  2. I ADORE Stephen Fry, especially in his witty panel show QI! These pieces of advice definitely sounds Fry-esque! Thank you for sharing!

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