Friday, June 1, 2007

20 Ideas from Writers on Writing

Why this blog?

The purpose of this blog is to answer questions about writing, grammar and style. You are invited to submit any questions on these topics and I will respond in the blog. If you need a quick response, I will respond immediately by e-mail.

Review: 20 Ideas from Writers on Writing
The last six blogs have answered questions about writing by writers. Some of their ideas are summarized below:
1. Writer's block is caused by lack of confidence.
2. Writing a book takes years.
3. People have different ways of preparing to write. Loren Eiseley jotted a short list of words as a kind of outline.
4. Many writers compose in their minds before writing on screen or paper.
5. People inflate their language in order to sound important.
6. The only way to learn to write is to spend a period of time each day writing.
7. Unity is essential in writing.
8. Short paragraphs cause the reader to want to read. People won't even begin to read long paragraphs.
9. Why Write? Clarify what you're thinking. Brings closure to experiences you are describing. Sum up complex problems. Preserve portions of our lives. To satisfy curiosity.
10. You need to spend time thinking about your topic before you write.
11. Don't talk to people about what you're writing. That act of communication takes away the desire to write.
12. Most professional writers have piles of rejection notices.
13. Dictated writing tends to be pompous, sloppy and redundant.
14. Stop writing when you know what you want to say next. Gives you momentum when you start again the next day. Hemingway.
15. A good writing style requires the least effort to understand. Rewrite to make your writing seem effortless.
16. Always put your writing away for a period of time before attempting to publish. When you read it again, you will see many needed changes.
17. If you're stuck in writing, put your manuscript away for awhile. When you come back to it, you will have many new ideas.
18. Avoid using worn-out expressions like "toe the mark." State the idea clearly: "Be prepared for challenges." Or, simply, "Be ready."
19. If you write as you speak, you will write badly.
20. Be wary of advice by writers on writing: they will often contradict their own advice.

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