William Faulker (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying) who was born on this day in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897, was not only creative in his wonderful writing, he was also deeply creative in his life.

Though Faulkner’s work is strongly associated with the American South, in WWI, he served for Canada. According to Writer’s Almanac, Faulkner added the “U” to his last name when applying for the Royal Canadian Air Force, “believing it made his name look British. Having already been rejected by the U.S. Army Air Corps because of his height of only five feet six inches, he also lied about his birthplace, for good measure, and adopted a phony British accent.”

Faulkner, who died in July of 1962, was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature for “his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” The Nobel contributed to the eventual establishment of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, a rich prize given annually to the year’s best works of fiction by living American citizens.

In honor of the author’s birth, today The Huffington Post rounds up the author’s six best writing tips.

Though noted for his heavily stylized prose, the writer championed plot over ornate syntax–a strange opinion for a man who once penned a five-word chapter (“My mother is a fish.”) According to him, if the story is compelling enough, the style will follow.

It’s worth the trip to find out why Faulkner felt that, among other things, “Writing is not about the author, but the product,” and “The story itself is more important than the style,” and most importantly (and long before Nike ever did) “Just do it.”

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