Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Writing tips from George Orwell

I really like writing but I know for a fact that I'm not as good as someone who is born to write. I mean, someone who really knows his shit and is really good (like Tim). Though, I can proudly say that my writing may be mediocre but it's not atrocious. Anyway, here's some tips from George Orwell so you can at least avoid being an atrocious writer.

When writing a sentence you should always ask yourself these questions:

1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
5. Could I put it more shortly?
6. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

When choosing words, follow these rules:

7. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
8. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
9. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
10. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
11. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
12. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.


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