Writing Tips from Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter Stockton Thompson, better known as Hunter S. Thompson, was an American writer and journalist. He is credited as the founder of the gonzo journalism movement that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story. “The Doctor of Journalism,” as Hunter called himself, was also the author of such infamous books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, and The Rum Diaries.
His stories are filled with drug frenzy, use of powerful verbs and extraordinary descriptions, as well as the ability to tell the story like a journalist. However, he was a brilliant passionate and slightly wicked author from which you can learn a thing or two. Here are some writing tips from Hunter S. Thompson that could help you improve your writing.
Steal From Your Heroes
While he was working as a copy boy for the Time during his studies at Columbia University School of General Studies, he used an interesting practice. He would sneak off into a room with a typewriter and rewrite some of his favourite books. These included works like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. By doing so, he wanted to understand and learn the flow of a great writer. You can improve your writing utilising this method. Read out loud as you are typing to hear the fluidity of remarkable storytelling.
This method can help you achieve the following:
- Refine your writing skills
- Exercise your grammar and punctuation knowledge
- Enrich your vocabulary
- Assist you in finding your own writing style
- Help you appreciate excellent word choice
Use Powerful Verbs
Hunter S. Thompson was brilliant at showing his readers was he was seeing with the choice of the verbs. It was even reported by some readers that they had visions themselves just by reding Hunter’s descriptions of hallucinatory drug binges. They’d literally hop in their cars and leave for Vegas hoping to experience some of his descriptions.
Verbs are probably the most important words a writer will ever use. They are literally where the action lies. By using powerful verbs, you can paint a visual image of what’s happening in your writing. Thus, readers won’t just understand your writing, they’ll also feel it. Use unusual verbs, verbs that evoke emotion and reaction in readers. By using them, you’re not just painting a visual picture, you’re giving the readers a chance to step into the scene and have a glimpse into the world you’ve created.
If you’re serious about writing, don’t make excuses and moan about how hard it is. Keep on writing and do it to the best of your abilities. Or in the words of Hunter S. Thompson:
“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.”