Top Ten Tips (Part 2)
Golden Rules For New Writers - Things you need to know before you begin.
Rules govern everything we do in life; even if those rules are of theunwritten kind we abide by them and expect other people to do the same.Why should writing be any different? It shouldn't be and it isn't. The following rules are the basis for good writing. If anyone tries to tell youthat rules are made to be broken, remember that you have to learn thoserules before you try to bend them or break them otherwise you are just being sloppy, not radical.
If you missed Part 1 of this Article, you can read it in its entirety at my website: http://www.huntingvenus.com/ecwart1.htm
You need to be able to spell in order to write properly. If punctuation isthe putty in your windows, spelling is the bricks out of which your house is built. If you don't have bricks, you cannot build yourself a house. Youwill probably find this hard to believe but spelling used to be taught in schools in the olden days. Nowadays most people who write do so on aword processor with a spell check function. It is apparent that many ofthese people do not bother to use their spell checker. This sort of laziness cannot be excused. At the same time, you should not rely entirelyon the spell checker: it is only a machine trying to guess what word youhave scrambled. If you are not sure about a word, look it up in a dictionary: it never hurts to know the correct meaning of words as well as the correct spelling. Never forget that spell check will take your words out of context: if you type "He sold his soul to Santa", you can't blame the spell checker for not knowing your really meant "Satan". Peoplewould snigger cruelly if you failed to correct this.
Keep to the point
Never make the mistake of padding out your writing with unnecessaryor irrelevant details. Keep to the subject announced in your title, after all, the title is probably what attracted the reader in the first place. If the
body of your work does not relate to the expectation aroused by the title, the reader will feel tricked and nobody likes that feeling - yourreader will move on to read somebody s/he can trust. Do not attempt to
pad out your writing with unnecessary words: inserting a few adverbs or adjectives to boost the word-count never works and makes the articledifficult to read. Keep it simple, whether people are reading for pleasure or enlightenment, they will not appreciate lumpy prose and they are not reading your work to marvel at your cleverness or your vocabulary. If you run out of things to say before your work is the length you wish to achieve, you are writing on the wrong subject or from the wrong angle.
Read and revise
Boring but essential. However much we enjoy the writing process, reading the end product over and over and making changes is not whatwe want to be doing. We would rather be starting the next article which is bubbling up in our brains but we have to read, re-read, revise and reviseagain. It is easy to make mistakes particularly if you have written something over a long period . If you do not correct your mistakes before publication, you will lose the trust of your audience. (I never got over the fact that one of my favourite authors accidentally changed the date of birth of a main character half way through a novel. How could I ever believe in his people if they had moveable birthdays?) If you were a carpenter, you would not offer your customer an unfinished piece of furniture. If you were a tailor you would not offer your customer an unpressed garment. The author should not dream of offering the reader an unpolished piece of writing.
Sleep on it
Don't be in a rush to publish your work the minute it is finished. Let itrest. If it is ready for publication, it will still be ready tomorrow but, if it is not quite ready, you will have given yourself a chance to make a finalamendment. This is particularly relevant when you are writing shorter things. If you have spent months redrafting a novel, you are likely to know if you have satisfactorily completed the final draft but it is easy toknock out and send off short items such as articles or letters and thenregret our haste. There is always scope for improvement and what lookslike a work of art in the evening glow, might not appear so well in thecold morning light.
Pay attention to detail
If you do not pay attention to detail, you will not discover your errors andthere will be plenty of people out there who will be delighted to pick outand highlight the smallest error. Some people just can't help themselves:it is the way they are made (the way I react when a menu offers me a choice of "Salad's" - salad's what?). Other people are just waiting to see you trip yourself up. Don't give them the satisfaction: get things right before they start pointing and you will have the last laugh. If you haverealised that this paragraph is number eleven of my top ten and are already laughing - Well Done! If you did not notice - see what I mean?
This is one of a series of articles published by the author, Elaine Currie, BA(Hons)at http://www.huntingvenus.comThe author's monthly newsletter is available free from mailto:networkerhvm@ReportsNetwork.com
Unusual Points of View
Most writers are familiar with first and third points of view and their variations. But have you ever experimented with alternative points of view? Below are some less used points of view, what I call "unusual points of view." Try using these when you're blocked or you want to try something new.
Write SMART: How to Create Terrific Writing Goals - And Achieve Them!
Open up your favorite calendar and circle today's date.
Proof Positive: the importance of proofreading
Last week I was having a quick browse on eBay when something caught my eye. "Black patient shoes!" screamed the headline. "Must see!"
Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals
Freelance writer STANLEY BURKHARDT has a passion for animals. He loves animals so much, he crafted himself a new career. For the last eight years, Stanley has made a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals -- and getting paid for it.
7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers
The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free publicity is pitching either themselves or their books.
The Makings of a Personal Essay, Really
Sometimes I can be dense when it comes to realizing the potential of my own life experiences as essays for magazines. I, of course, fully believe that everything in my life is newsworthy, but sometimes have trouble figuring out which experiences will hit home with other people.
The Value of Adding Images to Technical Documentation
It's cliché, but true-a picture does paint a thousand words. This is an important message to remember when writing any sort of user documentation, such as an installation guide or an instruction manual. A document that makes judicious use of images and diagrams will be much easier to understand than one that is composed entirely of text descriptions.
Power Writing 101: Tips and Tricks to Get You Taken Seriously!
In my ten years as an advertiser, I've encountered plenty of folks with a flair for writing. They were born having some idea of where to put the words within the sentence, and the sentences within the paragraph. They usually know what words to use ? when to say 'bloom' instead of 'grow,' or 'confused' instead of 'befuddled.'
The Iniquitous Slip
All the famous writers I heard of could paper the walls of their offices with rejection notices.
How to Write Articles, Reports, and Books Quickly
Do you have trouble getting your thoughts and ideas down into an article? Do you find it difficult to put 'pen to paper' to get your book started? Do you sit facing a blank screen struggling to find the words to write? If so, here are some tips and strategies you can use to get your material written quickly.
Save Time When You Write
I'm in the process of moving from one computer to another, and one of the things I really miss so far is a good keystroke macro program.
Masquerading As Novel ~ Can Author?s Work Convey Important Perceptions?
While novels do not usually attempt to convey concepts about the need to protect ourselves, this one does. For Sale By Owners:FSBO. As the author, I have been told that I have broken all of the rules. Crime, Police corruption, Sexual abuse, and Scams are exposed. The Trucking, Real Estate, and even Street~Prostitution industries are laid bare.
Discover the Magic of the Most Beautiful Words in the English Language
'Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.' Henry James.
If You Want to Succeed As a Writer, Dont Just Think It, Do It
It never ceases to amaze me when a prospective writer confesses that he or she has never put anything down on paper. Obviously, that's the first step. Just dreaming about it won't make it happen. Anyone can write. But not everyone writes well.
10 Secrets For Everyday Writing Success
During my 25-year career in a variety of professionalpositions in both the private and public sectors I have written literally thousands of letters and memos andhundreds of reports. If I had to boil-down everythingI've learned about practical day-to-day writing for bothpersonal and business purposes into 10 key points, thiswould be my "top 10 list".
The Untold Secrets of Writing Best Selling Childrens Books
Ever wondered how the most successful children's book writers get their ideas? The answer may surprise you.
How to Pitch a Story
Ever wonder why we refer to convincing an editor a story is worthy by "pitching a story?" I have. I'm a baseball enthusiast, and it makes a lot of sense to me. When the editor is at bat with you, he or she has a few swings to make before making a connection ? through the story idea (ball) that could end up being a base hit or a home run. Naturally, everyone wants to hit a home run when they go to bat with an editor. Sometimes publicists and writers do have to walk to first base for the story assignment. Here are some helpful tips on how to pitch a story to an editor ? and how to at least hit a single, double, or triple ? if not a home run on occasion.
What Can Go Into A Plot?
Creative Writing Tips ?
Mixing and Mingling: The Door to Publication?
Mixing and mingling with industry professionals is an opportunity that you should NEVER let slip by. Here are some tips from my own experience to help you make the most of your conference:
7 Writing Muse Kickers to Fill Up That Blank Page
Nothing is more daunting for any writer than having to stare at a blank sheet of paper.
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