Always a teacher, I love to talk about God’s Word and also encourage writers. ENJOY!
The 10 Commandments of Great Writing
[Actually these are not written in stone like the original 10 Commandments. If they were, I would be like Moses and break at least a few of them. But being the wordsmith I am, the word suggestions in place of commandments seemed a bit weak.]
- Thou shalt use strong words! Make the nouns and verbs as specific as possible. Why walk when you’re strolling or racing?
- Thou shalt show, not tell! Describe what’s happening so the reader has to think and can visually “be there.” Paint the picture.
- Thou shalt know your reader! Who’s going to read what you’re writing? Answer that and then write accordingly.
- Thou shalt know your purpose! Do you want to entertain, inform, narrate, persuade, or explain? If you chose more than one, avoid confusion.
- Thou shalt write and rewrite! As Granny used to say, practice makes perfect. Great writing takes much thought and time.
- Thou shalt let others critique your work! Letting others read your rough drafts lets you know whether you’re succeeding or confusing.
- Thou shalt have a plan! A purpose and an outline help keep you from the dreaded rabbit trails.
- Thou shalt use dialogue and quotes! In fiction, give your characters a voice. In nonfiction, give your facts a face.
- Thou shalt vary your sentence length! Mix it up. The 30-word sentence can strain the brain. The 15-word sentence may become boring. The 5-word sentence wakes the reader up. Choose accordingly.
- Thou shalt never use “thou shalt!” Be culturally sensitive and choose your words with your audience in mind.
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Check Out These!
- Chicken Soup for the Soul [Use this link: http://www.chickensoup.com/form.asp?cid=submit_story]
- Guideposts [http://www.guideposts.org/tell-us-your-story]
- The Lookout [http://www.lookoutmag.com/write/]