Tips for writing?
Now, I ain’t no professional writer, but I think these are some general and basic principles that I picked up in a writing course I took during the year. Hope it helps someone!
1. Honeybuns, please show, don’t tell.
He was sad beyond repair. Now, most people really wouldn’t care for a sentence like this, but it’s rather boring, no? Of course, this principle doesn’t have to be applied to everything because that would get a little too detailed and flowery, but if you are trying to make a point, it would be best fit to use it. So, basically, the rule of thumb for this principle is to show the reader and avoid telling. So instead of saying the character is sad, how about showing? For example (and pardon me if this is not the best one), His eyelids felt heavy and soon, his eyes would drown in his own sea, followed by the shatter of his heart. Not the best example, but suddenly, the writing has come to life, no?
2. Qurllll (or guy), you need to slow the fuck down!
So, just like principle #1, applies to mainly important scenes/details of a piece. The best way to describe this is a little formula my teacher taught me (don’t worry, it’s not math related).
Reading time = Actual Time happening
Basically, if the main character is taking five minutes to search her car for an important photograph, then the reading time to cover the scene should be indeed five minutes. Yay, doable math! I’m sure this is pretty self-explanatory so, I’m not gonna give an example. However, if you do need an example, you can message me. Ha.
3. Use precise words!
This principle is better explained through an example.
There were a few kids, running around the park talking about all the money they had.
Let’s change up the bolded words.
There were a pair of twins, running around the park laughing about all the candy they had.
The point of this is to be careful of the words you choose because you can go from a drug dealing context to an innocent context. Right? Get what I’m saying?
4. Don’t overload the slots, hun.
Now, this is another simple, but very important principle. So basically, in a phrase (sentence, however you want to call it), we refer to the usage as slots. So for example, you got a subject, a verb and an object.
Here’s a sentence to illustrate my meaning: The boy ate his meal slowly. Depending on the importance of the sentence, slowly can be removed or changed to create a different meaning. Unless you’re describing the boy this way because he’s autistic, you can skip out that he ate it slowly. There are better examples and I tend to get my ass kicked for overloading slots. In short, basically adding unnecessary detail all in one phrase.
*You can definitely show a whole paragraph. When doing so, think about the five senses and the 5 w’s to help! Why does it smell bad? Maybe because it smells like the dripping of blood from a gutter. Not only is there an image (sight), you get the smell and even sound!
*Don’t forget your literary devices! Those can make a big difference in your work! Do not neglect those metaphors and similies! A high school scene becomes 10x more interesting when described as a beehive, right?
Some pr0tips from George Orwell (written in my own words hehe):
*Kill the cliche.
I’m sure you understand this one, but if you don’t, here’s it in a longer-short form: DON’T USE CLICHES. AVOID THEM, PLEASE. Okay, that’s out of the way. It won’t help someone understand a text better because it’s been so overused that it won’t evoke emotion. Be fresh and create something new!
*Never use a long word where a short one will do.
We all don’t like smart asses, right? So why would you act like one in your writing? Biggest hypocrite, right? Most of the time, immature writers will usually use a word incorrectly, so to avoid that awkward moment of explaining that word to someone, just don’t use it. However, if you are that smart ass, then go ahead and use the words that account for your daily vocabulary. Don’t change your personality in your writing!
*Kill your darlings.
In other words, less is more. If you have an unused character, kill them off. Make them runaway or something. If you have words that don’t contribute to the importance of a scene, cut it out. CUT CUT CUT like you work at a hair salon!
*Never use passive where you can use the active.
* Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. If you can’t, go ahead, a little knowledge won’t hurt.
*Break any of these rules sooner than saying outright barbarous.
Breakdown of writing:
In order of most time consumed, to least.
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