How to write like famous writers

Have you ever wanted to write like a classic? Have you wondered how do they (or we) do it? Here’s how to copy the styles of your favourite writers, from A to Z (which is me).

Aldous Huxley:  accurately predict the gentle, positive sounding and profoundly infantilizing methods that will be used to usher in a dystopia that will look like an utopia to idiots. Predict the world is headed towards a touchy-feely tyranny within a century. A few years later, find out it’s already happening.

Alexandre Dumas: get paid by the line. Do this.

Charles Murray: get unpersoned for publishing mainstream science about IQ heritability by the people Aldous Huxley warned us about, despite going out of your way to avoid and disclaim any unsavory ethical implications. But your hallucinating critics shan’t care, and will accuse you of the exact opposite of what you were doing and saying. See James Damore.

Donald Trump: you need to have the best words. Believe me, folks, the very best. So great. Know that repetition, repetition and simple, colorful language just works. It just does. People don’t have to think. They feel your point. That’s important. Get criticized for it by people who couldn’t persuade a cat to eat a fish, and think understandable language when speaking to voters is a bad thing. Then they’re surprised they lose elections. And trust me, folks, we have the best erections. Better than their small ones. So sad.

E.L. James: start by writing cheap smut, but end up accidentally exposing the breathtaking hypocrisy of a repressed, puritanical culture where a passing remark is sexual harassment and very empowered wymmyn smash muh capitalism, but a book about a sociopathic sadist billionaire spanking the shit out of a featureless empty husk of a woman and reducing her to a quivering little thing sells faster than anything else in history.

That’s less paradoxical than it looks, because what women most desire from men is discipline, but their problem is that there are very few men who are worth being disciplined by.

George Orwell: warn the entire world fifty years in advance about the things some people will try to do. Watch it happen anyway.

Jordan Peterson: realize that the act of writing is, itself, a deeply symbolical activity paralleling the creation of the cosmos out of chaos, roughly speaking, which is the raw potentiality of all the possible key strokes that can occur on your keyboard. In typing out an intelligible text, we are essentially continuing the work of creation through Logos, after God, and after Adam. Except those bloody postmodern neomarxists, who use the tools of logos to attack it, if that’s the right way to put it. It’s a deeply meaningful, symbolical, cosmogenic act (I’m not saying it isn’t).

Also, accidentally become a messiah figure, which is really worrying because you know exactly what happens to prophets and messiahs, even the unwilling or second rate ones, but there’s a part of you that doesn’t really mind, because you do have that dark corner of your personality that kind of likes the 10 meter high orwellian portraits and cheering crowds. It’s not by accident you gravitated to the study of authoritarianism. Most of the time, you resist acting on your own authoritarian tendencies, but not always, man.

Nicholas Taleb: make your point in the first ten pages of the book. Spend the remaining 400 repeating it.

On the upside, your entire work is free, because the ten page previews on Amazon are enough to extract 99% of the value from your books.

James Damore: get fired for circulating the mainstream scientific consensus on group differences, because your idiot colleagues and angry twitter mobs aren’t able to distinguish between normative and descriptive statements, and think average group differences mean you have to gas people, or something. Look for ways to increase female participation by tailoring organizations to women instead of trying to change women to fit into organizations, and get accused of sexism for it. Because your colleagues are brainwashed baboons, and also some of the most powerful people on the planet. Which is super reassuring.

J.K. Rowling: write a series of books playing to every teenager’s neuroses and insecurities – who doesn’t feel like a discarded messiah at 15, with a mission and destiny, misunderstood and persecuted by the normies who are literally an inferior species, and who wouldn’t like a school that teaches magic and serves actually edible food? Afterwards, try to stay relevant with misguided political tweeting pandering to 13 year olds, whether literal or psychological (which includes a worrying number of 40 year olds).

Paulo Coelho: write feel-good, vacuous, banal and toxic literary opiates for people who want to feel better, not get better. Happily for your sales, that’s many.

P.G. Wodehouse: write several hundred stories that are the same three stories over and over again.

Scott Adams: As a trained persuader, you know it’s important to first establish your authority, then pace and lead your audience, use visual imagery, and gaslight them into believing anything they do or think was precisely your plan from the beginning, thereby making them believe you have powers that actually depend only on their active cooperation – the basic dynamic of hypnosis. See four-dimensional chess aquatic backgammon where most people see an unmanageable jungle of human idiocy. Suspiciously go to Zurich, the world capital of secretive finance, right about the time of your maximum political exposure, with a new girlfriend fifty years your junior.

I just made you imagine a girl, which means I have complete control over your thoughts. You moist robot without free will. (That phrase, by the way, is priming to make you more pliable). If you’re reading these words, you should buy my book.

Steven Pinker: present hundreds of pages of irrefutable data showing the world is getting inestimably better basically every hour. Be attacked anyway by people who want the world to suck, and/or have a material stake in making others believe that it sucks, and/or themselves suck at reading comprehension, and who spend infinite pages angrily attacking things you never even implied. Become a classic while alive.

Tim Ferris: do unspeakable things with your body. Ingest the whole periodic table and half the Amazonian rainforest. If you survive, write a hilarious collection of anecdotal evidence with impossible to untangle variables that, infuriatingly enough, probably contains several highly effective recipes.

Winston Churchill: somehow manage to write thousands of pages of top notch prose inbetween saving the world, detailing the minutae of two world wars and a comprehensive history of English speaking peoples. Get voted out of office because you’re a big old meanie who is not a socialist and promises insufficient freebies, and the proletariat feels like you’re no longer needed after you handled that Hitler thing.

Xenophon: included for alphabetical reasons.

Yuval Harari: spend a decade writing a magnum opus. Get harangued by your greedy publisher to cobble together a disappointing sequel over a few weekends. Regret it.

Zbynek Drab: (wisdomination guy): Improbably combine existential optimism about things in general with inconsolable fury at almost everything in particular. Drink like a slav and endlessly procrastinate on publishing, despite having thousands of pages of notes that (by the law of large numbers alone) contain jewels capable of saving western civilization and kickstarting the next stage of cultural development. Make penis jokes instead.

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