Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers

August 25, 2014 by No Comments

Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for WritersIt has been a while since the website has been updated. This is due to the fact that our resident Web Monkey doesn’t have any internet at the moment. However, he managed to hunt some down to post 10 Rules for Writers from Nietzsche from the Brain Pickings Website, as he died today in 1900. Find out what they were below the break!

His ten rules of writing can be found in Neitzsche‘s letters to his friend Lou Andreas-Salomé – who he wanted to marry when they first met – and they are:

  1. Of prime necessity is life: a style should live.
  2. Style should be suited to the specific person with whom you wish to communicate. (The law of mutual relation.)
  3. First, one must determine precisely “what-and-what do I wish to say and present,” before you may write. Writing must be mimicry.
  4. Since the writer lacks many of the speaker’s means, he must in general have for his model a very expressivekind of presentation of necessity, the written copy will appear much paler.
  5. The richness of life reveals itself through a richness of gestures. One must learn to feel everything — the length and retarding of sentences, interpunctuations, the choice of words, the pausing, the sequence of arguments — like gestures.
  6. Be careful with periods! Only those people who also have long duration of breath while speaking are entitled to periods. With most people, the period is a matter of affectation.
  7. Style ought to prove that one believes in an idea; not only that one thinks it but also feels it.
  8. The more abstract a truth which one wishes to teach, the more one must first entice the senses.
  9. Strategy on the part of the good writer of prose consists of choosing his means for stepping close to poetry but never stepping into it.
  10. It is not good manners or clever to deprive one’s reader of the most obvious objections. It is very good manners and very clever to leave it to one’s reader alone to pronounce the ultimate quintessence of our wisdom.

To see Lou Andreas-Salomé response to these rules check out 10 Rules for Writers from Nietzsche on the Brain Pickings Website. You can find other 10 rules for Writing from many other famous writers here!

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