Friday, May 14, 2021

Writing: Suggestions

I copied these from someone (sorry, I can't give attribution)--they're pretty much the things that most writers learn by the time they had their first or second critique. But they're worth repeating. (And is there anyone out there who's been caught in the situation pictured here? I prepare, and add a spare roll when the one in use get low. How about you?)


-Don't overwrite. We've all heard it--never use a dollar word when a dime one will do.

-Don't use too may adjectives and adverbs. I was initially told to use none of these, but you have to use some

-Write tight. Or, take unnecessary words out with your first edit.

-Don't use cliches, platitudes, and other similar words. 

-Vary sentence length. No run-on sentences.

-Avoid passive verbs and passive construction. 

-Show, don't tell. (This, plus the above, are the first lessons a writer learns--and they're important).

There are more, but that's enough for now. What others can you think of.

NOTE: If you go to Amazon before midnight (Pacific time) tonight, you can download the Kindle version of my first novella, EMERGENCY CASE, free. The URL is below:


Priscilla Bettis said...

I can't keep a spare roll nearby. We have four rambunctious cats! But I can yell loud enough from anywhere in the house so that Dear Husband can hear and come to my aid.:-)

I read a short story this morning that was in 1st person, but it had a POV slip. So I'd add: No head-hopping.

Richard Mabry said...

Yes, keep POV the same throughout the scene--and, for some reason, that wasn't in the list I have posted above my computer.
We don't have cats (or dogs), so we can put another roll on the toilet tank when we're running low.

Patricia Bradley said...

First rule I learned: Never use a dollar word when a dime one will do.

I enjoyed these, Richard and Priscilla. When I find my brain I'll come back and add something...

Richard Mabry said...

That's a good comment, especially if your brain is missing. Wish I could think of a dollar word to put into my reply--guess I'll stick with dime words.