John Green Discusses Revelatory Piece of Writing Advice

Posted on July 29, 2020

Author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) says in a 60 Minutes interview that he was devastated when he did not get placed in the advanced fiction writing class at Kenyon College.

Green says, "It was really devastating for me." He says, "It felt really rough to not get in."

Green wondered if he could even make it as a writer if he wasn't one of the 12 best writers in his class at college.

Green says he then received a revelatory piece of advice from his professor. Green says his professor told him that he sounds different when he is telling stories then when he is writing them. His professor said it is like he is trying to write like someone else.

His professor said, "When you tell me a story it's very good. If you could just write the way that you tell me stories from your life - that's what you need to do."

Green says the advice really stuck with him and he still follows it today.

The key tip is here is not to overlook your own unique voice when writing.

A longer version of the 60 Minutes interview can be found on cbsnews.com.