05 April 2005

How To Write Good

Just a handful of thoughts & principles for writing well:
  • Put words on paper (or on the screen). I personally compose on a spiral notebook, but the point is to get the words out.
  • Relax! Don't write at attention. Go ahead and use "I" (and never use "this author" - ugh!)
  • "Good writing is bad writing rewritten." That means the first step in writing well is to write badly
  • Delete, delete, delete (scratch out, scratch out, scratch out) - see above.
  • Specifically, delete that "that"
  • Compare: "The choice of your words has been such that..." - vs - "Your word choice is..."
  • Be funny, be honest, be plain, be yourself
  • I tend to use lots of pop-references, humor, history, etc
  • Read. Expose yourself to good writers, let their voice/example/style soak in and shape your own.
  • Some people say to write what you know. I say to write what you enjoy. If it's boring to you, it'll be boring to everyone else, so don't waste your time or mine (and if it's interesting to you...)
  • Have fun with it!

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