Thursday, June 8, 2017

Writing Tips - Some Pointers From the Masters

Here are some pointers I normally share with those who wish to write well. These pointers are taken from interviews with some masters like Naipaul and others.

Do's and Don't

  • Write short sentences. 10 to 12 words in a sentence.
  • Write one word at a time. Don't use big words (5 letters)Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.
  • Use active voice.
  • Use actions verbs.
  • Have a consistent POV.

  • Avoid sentences that flow into each other.
  • Avoid 'ing' forms. 
  • Avoid adverbs (all 'ly's)
  • Avoid adverbs especially after 'he said' and 'she said'.
  • Don't use words you don't know the meaning of.
  • Don't use adjectives - except those of color, size, number.
  • Avoid the abstract - go for concrete.
  • Don't repeat the same word.
  • Remove all unnecessary words.
  • Don't try to impress

  • Read aloud.
  • Be clear what you want to say. What is the purpose of your writing. 
  • Your story must be clear in your head.
  • Characters - must be real people, create back stories, 3 dimensions
  • Feel. It must move you.
  • Write like people talk.
  • Show and not tell.

Writing Process 

  • Eliminate distractions
  • Stick to your style
  • The first draft of the book must be done in 3 months, however big the book
  • Don't bother about perfect grammar. Don't fear.
  • Read. Read. Read
  • After the first draft take a 6 week break

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