10 Rules of Writing

Time to sharpen my writing after reading this … WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle Here’s my scissored version (for lazy people):

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1. Never open a book with weather.

2. Avoid prologues.

3. Never use a verb other than ”said” to carry dialogue.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ”said” . . .

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.

6. Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

And finally:

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go.
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One Response to 10 Rules of Writing

  1. maggi says:

    great post, Sivin! I’ll be back to read this again. Have you read Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves? Excellent book on writing, and beautifully and wittily written.

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