Thursday, May 14, 2009

18 Things That Help A Writer

Whilst cleaning out a box of 'collected sheets of paper that may be useful one day', I came across one that actually was: 18 things to remember when writing.

1. Always avoid alliteration.
2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
3. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations etc.
4. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
5. Remember to never split an infinitive.
6. Contractions aren't necessary
7. Foreign words and phrases are apropos.
8. One should never generalise.
9. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
10. Don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
11. Be, more or less, specific.
12. Understatement is always best.
13. One word sentences? Eliminate.
14. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
15. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
16. Who needs rhetorical questions?
17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
18. Don't never use a double negation.

Feel free to add some more.

p.s. Tonight's the first performance of the play. Thankyou for all your good wishes. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow: the joy, the pain, the forgotten lines, the lousy jokes etc.


The Journalizer said...

Hey Martin,
Thanks for the list and good luck tonight. Break a -figurative- leg! LOL!

Martin Willoughby said...

If there's anyone in the audience!

Lady Glamis said...

I hope you get a great turnout!

As far as your list goes. I like to ignore lists during the first few drafts. Rules can come later. Writing from the heart seems to make the most difference for me right now. Those are some great rules you've got, though. Thank you!

Litgirl01 said...

What's wrong with alliteration? :-D How about onamonopeia?

Matt said...

Hyperbole is by far the most awesome tool in the writer's repertoire!

Fun list, Martin! Thanks!

Martin Willoughby said...

LG - The hall was half full. Some of them were even breathing.

L1 - What is onamonopeia?

Matt - Keep 'em coming.