Stumbled across this wonderful writing advice on the web. It’s an article by best selling Science Fiction novelist C. J. Cherryh, and, as the author encourages sharing I thought I’d post it here in its entirety. It really is great advice, and although its naturally biased towards fiction writing (which is what most non-fiction writers secretly long to write anyway), there are heaps of useful suggestions that will help to make any writing more dynamic and engaging.
The most important thing to remember, as always, is that when you’re writing rules are never absolute. They offer guidance, but if breaking rules helps you convey your message more effectively, do it! Or as C. J. Cherryh so eloquently puts it: “CHERRYH’S LAW: NO RULE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED OFF A CLIFF”.
Writerisms and other Sins:
A Writer’s shortcut to stronger writing.
by C.J. Cherryh
(c) 1995 by C.J. Cherryh
Copy and pass ‘Writerisms and other Sins’ around to your heart’s content, but always post my copyright notice at the top, correctly, thank you, as both a courtesy and a legal necessity to protect any writer.
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.