Teach Yourself to Be a Copycat

Want to write like your favorite author? Open one of their books and start typing.

Photo: Migle Kirklyte / EyeEm via Getty

When I first started writing professionally, I copied like crazy. Not literally copied — I didn’t lift sentences or ideas — but copied in the way an apprentice woodworker might copy a master woodworker, following the curves, mimicking the cuts and joinery, lining up my work…

--

--

--

Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…Head of my very own Literati.com book club (join me!)

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Make $10 To $500 Writing Short Stories

Amazon Is Giving $25,000 To All-Star Writers

Elements of Fiction

Learn EVERYTHING you need to know about blogging from stock photography

5 Ways To Not Forget your Writing-Prompts

A man taking notes

3 Effective Storytelling Secrets for Marketers

How I write and publish one book every single month, single handed

Author: Alison Mcrobbie (Source: Authors own picture)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean

Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…Head of my very own Literati.com book club (join me!)

More from Medium

The Art of Writing

Stop Trying to Write Just Right. Just Write.

How Do I Write an Amazing A-grade Essay Every Time

My Writing Journey and Throwing Out All the Rules and Advice