Rules of good writing

_MG_7660Limit key word to one time in a sentence or paragraph.  Use a thesaurus to find alternate words.

A new paragraph or thought flows from the previous one.  Don’t jolt the reader.

Avoid a lot of similar nouns, verb combinations.  Alter your sentence structure.

Break up long sentences and alternate with short ones.

Write in active voice.  The reader is on the journey with the main character.

Position words for clarity and avoid confusion.

Avoid pronouns and lazy verbs.  Eliminate unnecessary pronouns, conjunctions, and articles.

Write straightforward sentences instead of convoluted “fancy” phrases.

Use specific not general descriptions.

Phrase positively and don’t use NOT

Limit superfluous words, especially there is and that.

Avoid vague adjectives like “really” and “little bit.”

Don’t add ly to adjective.

Avoid phrases like “moreover, furthermore, or for instance.”

Never use two words if one will do.

Use parallel construction.

Replace adjectives and adverbs with vivid nouns and active verbs.

Don’t over explain – let the reader figure it out.

Use paragraphs for description, history, or an activity.

Instead of a tag (he said) describe what the character is doing while speaking.  Use behavior to reveal feelings.

Character is revealed through actions and reactions to others, events, or fears.

Describe action NOT taken and reason.

Dialogue reveals facts and feelings (not always true ones).  Other character’s comments reveal hidden feelings or mislead.

Peel information slowly.  Don’t interrogate but speak naturally in dialogue.

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