How to Write

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I could spend a lot of time thinking about these tropes, ha.

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Courtesy of C.J. Cherryh: Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer’s shortcut to stronger writing by C.J. Cherryh (c) 1995 by C.J. Cherryh

Writerisms: overused and misused language. In more direct words: find ’em, root ’em out, and look at your prose without the underbrush. You may be surprised by how much better it looks.

Click the link and enjoy.

Also, for a meditation on s’s, click here and skip to “do you hate s’s?”.
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I have not distilled this paragraph yet (courtesy of Miss Snark), but it may be the best one I have ever read about how to write well:

Sitting in a car/truck/bus, telling me about the weather you’re having is not not not compelling. Not now, not ever. Go rent a copy of the movie Jaws. Watch the beach scenes without sound. Not quite as scary is it? Here’s the thing about novels. You have to show me the sound effects. Your writing, your diction, your pacing, your POV, your choice of focus, all have to get my attention and point me at the shark. You don’t have to show me the shark, but I have to get a sense it’s there.

more from Miss Snark

Write short declarative sentences that flow one from another. If you end up with long ass sentence cause you feel you need to explain something, don’t explain.

More Snarkly advice:

Remember the basic ingrediants of the hook souffle: the main character is; s/he has a problem that is; s/he must do something to solve it that will: the consequences of solving it create a different problem which is. Fill in the blanks.


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