Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thirteen #1 Writing Tips
from 13 Different Sites
I Googled While Drinking Coffee

Stumped again. Am I losing my creativity? I hope not. Here's what I finally decided . I googled "great writing tips" and looked for sites that focused on a list or hierarchy. I copied the first rule... Rule #1... from each of thirteen different websites. I didn't link. Didn't want to spend that much time on this silly project. But, you get the plan, Stan? Not much here we didn't know. But I'm always game for a new T13 Idea. You should see the ones I discarded. Oy!

1. Make your opinion known. (from Ten Tips for Writing a Blog Post) [duh?]

2. Branch to the right. (from 50 Writing Tips) [huh?]

3. Speak what you write. (actually Rule #0 from Writing Tips for Non-Writers Who Don't Want to Work at Writing) [brother!]

4. Choose a subject that interests you. (from Homework Center - Writing Skills) [duh #2 on my growing list of Duhs] [do we need a tip if the idea is that obvious?]

5. Get organized by listing your reader's questions. (from Business Writing Tips) [very businesslike]

6. Use short sentences. (from Copyblogger - Ernest Hemingway's Top 5 Tips for Writing Well) [maybe I'll come back to this one, huh?] [I suppose that's a decent tip, but what about Dickens and Faulkner, and the tres long sentence?]

7. Know your audience. (from "A Dozen Online Writing Tips," [probably good idea, even beyond online writing]

8. Write. Don't think. Write. (from "Dana's Quick Writing Course," on Moore's Lore, Corante) [very first draft. I agree.]

9. Cut the boring parts. or...I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard (from "10 Writing Tips from the Masters" a Pick the Brain)

10. Use writing bursts to generate ideas and enthusiasm. (from Daily Writing Tips) [sure thing] [that must be all these enthusiastic scraps of paper scattered on my desk?]

11. Get to the point. (from "Stephen King's Top 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer) [now I am sitting at attention -- I think I have this on a handout somewhere]

12. Bloodless. [had to add the rest] Remember to avoid fuzzy and warm words--insubstantial words like "happy," "sad," "good," "bad." These words offer your reader little more than a limp handshake. (from Great Writing Tips at Cerritos College)

13. "Writing may be magical," Murray told us, "but it's not magic. It's a process, a rational series of decisions and steps that every writer makes and takes, no matter what the length, the deadline, even the genre."

Don lived by a simple rule, a Latin phrase he had regularly laminated, shared with me and other fortunate disciples, and kept close by his writing desk. "Nulla dies sine linea." Never a day without a line. ("Don Murray - the Things He Gave," from Poynter Online Resources)

I'm partial to #13. That #1 tip really was the last of the first 13 sites I checked for the #1 tip listed. That's a mouthful, eh?

Can't say working on this T13 wasn't interesting. If I did say "it wasn't interesting," I'd have to cut the sentence. Even thought it's short... Because, it's....
I would describe my morning foray into writing tips as a bit like ice skating -- quite daunting on approach, personally damaging to the pride, delightful when finished.


Gina Ardito said...

Ah, well, Grasshopper, if you learned something valuable the journey was worthwhile.

Pretty Life Online said...

great list for TT! mine's up too hope you can drop by!!!

Ellie Heller said...

Always interesting to see what others list as their first tip of writing.

Me, I'm a Nike kind of gal.

Just Do It.


colleen said...

Number nine is my favorite writing quote that I use almost every day. I like to mix short sentences up with a an occasional long one.

I wrote about the magic quest of writing this week and the hard work.

I see you are part of my graduating class, 1969.

Zara Penney said...

YOu gotta laugh. There must be so many writing tips out there in good old cyber to give you so little time to write - let alone live by.
It's a bit like speed cameras. The roads are so full of cars nobody speeds anymore, so they have to lower the speed limit to get customers.


(that's my word verification) now a ibwmzouh is (pronounced ibo-wamzoo)
is a very large when you look in a rear view mirror in the change room when trying on a garment. It's what your backside is doing in what you thought could make you look slinky like the brunette trying to sell you the same thing.

Denise Patrick said...

Like the list. Like you, #13 is my favorite. All the rest are helpful, but not as much fun.

Happy TT!