Monday, September 10, 2012

Some tips on the writing craft

Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor of Write to Done, offers these.

Use simple, declarative sentences.
Avoid passive voice.
Limit your use of adjectives and adverbs.
Keep it simple.
Cut the crap.
Don’t overwrite.
Go easy on descriptive narrative (settings, people, etc.).
Re-examine every word that’s three syllables or longer and see whether it could be replaced by a simpler word.
If you have a sense of where you want your piece to wind up, start there instead and see what happens.
Avoid these three weak words – unless absolutely necessary: Ifs, Buts, and Can’ts.
Never rescue your hero.
Practice monotasking. Set a timer for uninterrupted writing.
Work on brilliant headlines.
Start with metaphors and stories.
Write the opening sentence or headline last.
Write solely from the heart and shun copying others.
Think before you include an expletive.
Ask, “Can it be turned into a list?” Think of at least five things you can list about it.
Use the mini-skirt rule: Make it long enough to cover everything, but short enough to keep it interesting.
Write in small paragraphs in order to get to the point immediately.
Visualize the person you are communicating with: What do their eyes reflect as they read this? What will the first thing they might say in response?
Do what works for you.
Always call a spade a spade. It’s never a long-handled gardening implement!
Try writing without accuracy. Not worrying about errors (left brain) allows for easier flow of thought (right brain).

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