Monday, January 23, 2012

Best Writing Advice Ever

By Julie Daines

In 1986, Frank L. Visco published this advice in Writer's Digest. It's so awesome I had to post it again here, even though I'm sure many of you have already seen this.

How To Write Good:

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
  1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  1. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  2. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  3. Profanity sucks.
  4. Be more or less specific.
  5. Understatement is always best.
  6. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  7. One word sentences? Eliminate.
  8. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  9. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  10. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  11. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  12. Who needs rhetorical questions?

Here are a few more added to the list by another guy:

  • Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
  • Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.

Click here for source.

Posted by Julie Daines


Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Taffy said...

Good reminders! Thanks, Julie!

Jennie La said...

Thanks for sharing! I love this! I'm going to use it in my English class. :)

Yamile said...

So funny! I love it!