Hunter S. Thompson

This page has been written and curated by Nick Orsini, writer of Fingerless Gloves and winner of our Fiction Fast-Track competition:


Why take Hunter S. Thompson’s advice?

“I think Hunter S. Thompson, in addition to being an essential part of the canon of great American writers, is also an influencer in the areas of journalism and fiction. His early, more straightforward journalism allows for an understanding of the development of ‘Gonzo Journalism’ …subjective, first hand accounts of real events. I believe, in order to be a great writer, you have to understand the economy of words. What I mean is, saying much by saying less. My favorite two Hunter S. Thompson works are Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary …both of which are powerful in their brevity and can be studied at length for an understanding of language.” Nick Orsini


So what is Hunter S. Thompson’s advice?

Nick Orsini summaries Hunter S. Thompson’s advice: “Don’t be afraid to inject different parts of yourself into your characters. While no one character can stand proxy for you, it’s effective to allow yourself into your writing. You should not write with a shield, deflecting yourself …but rather, to be inclusive of all your feelings and emotions in the context of different situations. Also, in dealing with pressures associated with personal image, one will never understand how difficult this is. It’s immensely hard to live up to created images …and decisions to reject or embrace these. I find his ideas to surround life rather than specifically writing. He is a conflicted man, but a brilliant writer. In the videos below, all that conflict boils to the surface …and while he’ll never give you instruction on how to write, he may be the last of a bygone era of writers as gigantic personalities.”


Watch these videos for more of Hunter S. Thompson’s indispensable advice for writers:

About putting himself into characters (like Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary):

On living up to images we create:

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