Writing Tips Unleashed

Photo Credit: Agorilla


There are plenty of great writing tips that are out there to help improve your writing.
But could they go further? Could these pearls of wisdom help with life outside of the page?

Well ...

Writing Tip: Show not tell

Understood by IKEA
Not understood by History Teachers

Writing Tip: Omit needless words

Understood by Monks
Not understood by Estate Agents, lawyers, people at dinner parties

Writing Tip: Don't use cliches

Understood by babies
Not understood by your Boss

Writing Tip: Don't keep switching point of view (POV)

Understood by Cows
Not understood by Politicians

Writing Tip: Connect with people's emotions

Understood by school dinner ladies ( Yuck ! )
Not understood by automated answer machines: Press 1 if you hate me, traffic wardens

Writing Tip: Less is More

Understood by Bonsai lovers
Not understood by your tax demand, your children at Xmas

Writing Tip: Keep the tension and pace going

Understood by Formula 1
Not understood by Post Office queues

Writing Tip: Do not use dialect unless your ear is good

Understood by impressionists
Not understood by George Smith at eleven-o-clock Friday Night at the Fox & Hound.


There has got to be more ! Leave a comment in the style above and add your own to the list. Best one wins a copy of both books below, which are books that I would recommend to any writer learning their trade.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk & E.B. White
(Read an extract here.)

On Writing by Stephen King

Good luck. Competition closes on the 31st October.



Anonymous said...

Hi ya Mike
Hmmmm Stephen King one of my favs... anyways..
Writing Tip. Be exciting...
Understood by your partner and not by the general public...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the writing tips and I'd love to have the Stephen King book. I've enjoyed reading many of his books.


Random by Design said...

Start out with a bang but leave them wanting more. Normally a person doesn't read everything that is front of them just the first few lines. Those lines are very critical so make sure to put more of your energy on them. Afterwords speak about your subject but don't be too detailed as it might get too boring and the momentum from the initial lines would go in vain.

plus you'll have something to talk about later. ^_^

Mike French said...

Aussiecynic: hmmm not bad! You are in the running!

recylecindy: No problem, you need to leave a quote like Aussiecynic though to be entered into the comp.

mdsanta: thanks good advice!

Anonymous said...

Ok my tip:
Keep 'em coming back for more...
"Free to everyone and invaluable to all!"

Anonymous said...

(antibarbie's)Writing Tip:
Try to leave out the parts that people would skip.

Understood by advertisers.
Not understood by anyone giving a speech at an award show.

I am a horror writer myself so sign me up for the Stephen King competition!

Mike French said...

antibarbie: good one, I think you have just set the bar.

Anonymous said...

Writing Tip:
Allow your audience to draw their own conclusions.

Understood by:
Reality TV shows

Not understood by:
Jehovah's witnesses.

Mike French said...

Sally: love it excellent! There's no link on your name, so at the moment if you win I won't know who you are! e-mail if you want to stay private and I'll pick it up from there. (mikedotfrenchatbigfoot.com)

Brigid said...

Wow. Great contest idea.

Writing Tip: Research is your friend

Understood by librarians
Not understood by award winning journalists.

Mike French said...

Brigid: Thanks, glad you like the contest. And great contribution, I'm starting to enjoy this!

Anonymous said...

Great idea!

Writing Tip: Know your facts

Understood by: Donald Trump
Not understood by: Rosie O'Donnell

Mike French said...

Vivienne: Topical! Maybe there is a self help book waiting to be birthed in all these tips!

stanaxe said...

Scribble on speech cue card
Understood by better half who wrote it.(keep it simple stupid!!)

Not by speech master or madam chair who introduced him.

Writer said...

*Write paragraphs with clear purpose. Start sentences and clauses with a small set of clearly related ideas. End sentences with phrases that emphatically show the paragraph's point.

*Make characters subjects; make actions verbs.

*Intertwine related stories--even a short sit-com has three separate plots.

*Research. Details matter.

*Condense language--say a lot in a small space.

Anonymous said...

Passive voice means passive characters.

Understood by Clive Cussler and Margaret Atwood.
Not understood by 90% of on-line writers and bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Be eccentric, not insane.

Understood By Johnny Depp, Tim Burton.

Not understood by Crispin Glover, Quentin Tarrantino.

Mike French said...

stanaxe: Or me? What are you talking about!?

writer: Thanks for dropping by, good tips.

legbamel: Your mission should you choose to accept it?
Get those stats up!
This comment will self destruct in 10 seconds.

lou: Jonny Depp & Tim Burton eh? I like! Esp Charlie & The Choc Factory. I wonder what insane writing looks like?

Mustang Mike said...

I love the tip about cliches. So true. It seems the older we get, the less insightful we are. Please enter me in the contest.

Mike French said...

Hi Mike

Great name!

Sorry the comp is closed, but a new comp coming soon!