Thursday, December 10, 2009

Words of Wisdom: 101 Writing Tips

"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand people in battle, yet one indeed is the noblest victor conquering oneself" (Dhp 104) Buddhist wisdom abbreviated on poster (RHEmarkable/

"Better than a thousand useless words is one useful word the hearing of which brings peace."
"Better than a thousand useless verses is one useful verse the hearing of which brings peace."
"Better than reciting a hundred meaningless verses is the reciting of one verse of Dharma the hearing of which brings peace."
-- Dhammapada (Verses 100-103)

Words of Wisdom
101 Tips from the World’s Most Famous Authors
Submitted to WQ by Carol Brown (
If you’ve ever wanted to sit down with your favorite writer and ask advice, then you should take a look at these tips from some of the most famous authors in the world. These valuable bits of information provide guidance on strength-ening your writing skills, becoming a better fiction writer or poet, learning to tap into your creativity, advice on education and school, and even a few suggestions on success and living a meaningful life.

General Writing Tips
Improve any type of writing you do with these solid tips from successful writers themselves.
  • Earnest Hemingway. Use short sentences and short first paragraphs. These rules were two of four given to Hemingway in his early days as a reporter – and words he lived by.
  • Mark Twain. Substitute "damn" every time you want to use the word "very." Twain’s thought was that your editor would delete the "damn," and leave the writing as it should be. The short version: eliminate using the word "very."
  • Oscar Wilde. Be unpredictable. Wilde suggested that "consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
  • Anton Chekhov. Show, don’t tell. This advice comes out of most every writing class taught. Chekhov said it most clearly when he said, "Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
  • EB White. Just write. The author of Charlotte’s Web, one of the most beloved of children’s books, said that "I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all."
  • Samuel Johnson. Keep your writing interesting. "The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new."
  • Ray Bradbury. Learn to take criticism well and discount empty praise, or as Bradbury put it, "to accept rejection and reject acceptance."
  • Toni Morrison. Remember that writing is always about communication. "Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it."
  • George Orwell. Orwell offered twelve solid tips on creating strong writing, including an active voice rather than a passive one and eliminating longer words when shorter ones will work just as well. More>>

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