Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?

JennyO 24 Aug 07 - 11:21 PM
Seiri Omaar 24 Aug 07 - 09:04 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 07 - 08:55 PM
Bobert 24 Aug 07 - 08:48 PM
Amos 24 Aug 07 - 08:17 PM
katlaughing 24 Aug 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 07 - 07:50 PM
Nigel Parsons 24 Aug 07 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,mg 24 Aug 07 - 07:41 PM
Slag 24 Aug 07 - 07:33 PM
Amos 24 Aug 07 - 07:13 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 07 - 06:54 PM
Riginslinger 24 Aug 07 - 06:38 PM
Rapparee 24 Aug 07 - 06:19 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM
Amos 24 Aug 07 - 05:06 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM
katlaughing 24 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Aug 07 - 04:33 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Aug 07 - 04:32 PM
jonm 24 Aug 07 - 10:29 AM
katlaughing 24 Aug 07 - 10:08 AM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Aug 07 - 09:54 AM
Rapparee 24 Aug 07 - 09:22 AM
s&r 24 Aug 07 - 06:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Aug 07 - 02:52 AM
Lonesome EJ 24 Aug 07 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Don Firth (computer, etc.) 23 Aug 07 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Aug 07 - 10:43 PM
Amos 23 Aug 07 - 10:25 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 07 - 10:14 PM
Rapparee 23 Aug 07 - 10:11 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 07 - 10:02 PM
Amos 23 Aug 07 - 09:48 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 07 - 09:38 PM
bobad 23 Aug 07 - 09:20 PM
katlaughing 23 Aug 07 - 09:14 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Aug 07 - 08:02 PM
katlaughing 23 Aug 07 - 06:13 PM
alanabit 23 Aug 07 - 05:39 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Aug 07 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Don Firth (computer still in the shop) 23 Aug 07 - 05:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Aug 07 - 05:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Aug 07 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Aug 07 - 05:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Aug 07 - 05:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Aug 07 - 05:14 PM
Ebbie 23 Aug 07 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Seiri Omaar 23 Aug 07 - 04:58 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: JennyO
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 11:21 PM

Here's a little ditty by one of our National Treasures, Bruce Watson - well at least, here's the chorus. I don't have the verses.

Be sure to never split an infinitive,
Never use no double negatives,
Never generalise, that's a rule you'll see everyone break.
Choose your words well, profread everythnig well,
Keep everything clear, don't be vague.
And avoid cliches like the plague.

And as Bruce says - WHO NEEDS RHETORICAL QUESTIONS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Seiri Omaar
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 09:04 PM

And hence why Gulliver's Travels became a literary classic.
..
...
....
*shudders* God, I hate that book.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 08:55 PM

Yeah, Guest, you are so right that they had a longer attention span. ;-) I was thinking that, but I didn't say it. Those people grew up in a society without TV, telephones, and radios. They wrote long letters to loved ones. They read long letters that they had to wait weeks or months for, and they focused intensely on every word. They were accustomed to paying full and proper attention to one thing at at time far more than people are nowadays.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 08:48 PM

Finally!!! A thread that this ol' hillbilly can sink his teeth into...

(Hey, Bobert, you just ended a sentencewith a preposition...)

Hey, at least I din't dnagle no corpusles, 'er nuthin' important like that...

But firget dangling corpusles fir just one danged minute whilst I tell you all about good writin'...

First of all, way back when I was in English Comp 101, which i had started a week late due to a case of mono, I had this assistent professor whoes name I have conviently forgotten who had asked one of my fellow classmates out on a date who, BTW I ended up marryingm and this guy said that a sentence had end by the 17th word... Nope an 18 word sentence, written by Hemmingway or Wadsworth was junk... I think that was a tad on the annal side and therefore, other than the mere fact that the student he was intersted in was my new girlfriend, assured me a big ol' "F" at the end of the semester...
Remember that little wiezel on Mash??? Well, this was this guy...

(BTW, my first sentence contained a couple hundred or less words in it but well over the "17 Rule" that Professor Wiezle said was thwe absolut limit...)

Okay, that was RULE ONE...

RULE TWO is a tad harder to explainerate 'cause it has to do with "topic"... In every family in the universe there is "this" uncle... In some there also "this" aunt... And in jy family we had both a "this" uncle and a "this" aunt... You all know excatly waht I am talking about here... These folks would go on and on and on about abosutely nuthin'... There was enever a point to be made... Never a period at the end of a sentence... No, jus' no-stop blah, blah an' more blah...

So RULE TWO is that don't write if yer, ahhhhh, friggin' brain dead!!!

Now we come down to the nitty gritty of writin' and that is THE COMMA... When I was in high school doin' my best to maintain my D averaghe I had this lady whoes name I have conviently forgotten who said when it comes to commas "When in doubt, leave it out"??? Well, I like commas much as the next D student an' word 'round school was that she was a spinster... You know, a 61 year old virgin... Now when it comes down to RULE THREE I don't wnat it to come from a 61 year old virgin... No, I want it to come from like Racheal Welsh... But over the years I have figured out why this lady was so intent on teaching "When in doubt, leave it out..." This wasn't about grammer... This was some kinda Freudean thing... I don't know... Maybe she had some potty trainin' issues... All I know is that RULE THREE sucks... I like my commas and, by golly, I'm gonna stick 'um wherever I think they look good...

So, my fellow Mudders, that's 'bout all ya' need to know 'bout writin' good...

Let's do a little review here:

RULE ONE: No sentences over 17 words unless a couple hundred works better...

RULE TWO: Don't write nuthin' if you is a moron...

RULE THREE: Don't ever believe a 61 year old virgin... Somethin is drastically wrong with these folks...

Now I'd like to introduce RULE FOUR, which BTW is my own, and that is that writin' is jus talk that has been put into script and so it ain't 'bout commas, 'er jealous professors, or even moronish stuff... It's 'bout who you are and what you feel and all that kinda sappy stuff...

That's my 2 cents worth and given that the phrase "2 cents worth" goes back to, ahhhhhh, maybe a hundred years and adjusted by the value of the dollar, inflation an' all them other economics stuff is prolly worth about a buck these days...

Bobert


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 08:17 PM

No, in this sense it actually means to adhere to something.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 08:10 PM

Dave Polshaw, OR:

Takat (as in Taw!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 07:50 PM

"They were written for an audience with a different mindset." Little Hawk

Not to mention a longer attention span.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 07:49 PM

Q:
"And don't start a sentence with and."

Luke Capter 2 V1:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

If it was good in the 17th century, it is still good now!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 07:41 PM

doesn't cleave mean to cut something? mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Slag
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 07:33 PM

Know your audience.
Know your subject.
Write the way you speak or think (the real work comes in re-vision).
Seek criticism from those who are proven competent.
Write all the time.
When you aren't writing, read.
Don't mimic other writers. Be your own person.
Publish (there's nothing like it!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 07:13 PM

Rapaire:

See the earlier rule: Cleave to the Anglosaxon.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 06:54 PM

That's right. There are actually several different kinds of good writing, I should think, depending on whom one is writing for.

Furthermore, styles of writing have changed greatly with the passage of time. Many of the officially "great" books of 150 to say, 300 years ago seem very long-winded by today's standards. They were written for an audience with a different mindset.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 06:38 PM

A lot of it depends on who is expected to read it.

         Also what the subject matter is. I would write differently for a rifle magazine than I would for the "Mississippi Review."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 06:19 PM

"Eschew longevity" says it in two words instead of three, Amos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM

Right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 05:06 PM

To my list above, add Cleave to brevity.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM

Thanx kat!

Takat?

kata?

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM

One word: DaveRwriter!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 04:33 PM

Oh - and we are on the second page so...

Two to me too:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 04:32 PM

Hehehe - I knew I could talk bollox as well:-)

How about -

Right and writer me!

Suppose it breaks rule 1 though!

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: jonm
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 10:29 AM

Aoid cliches like the plague, and double negatives are a real no-no.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 10:08 AM

I think it works for fiction, sometimes, too, Uncle DaveO, as I rememebr reading about an author who would write things on index cards, as they came to her. Then she'd lay all of the cards out on the floor and reassemble them in coherent order. THEN she'd get to writing with them as prompts!

I suppose I got it reasonably right in post 2 then? Maybe in fewer words than Kat as well:-)

I knew I could be a good writer!


"Pared Kat, Writer Dave. Well done!"

Ha! From nineteen to nine to six!**bg**


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 09:54 AM

About twenty-five years ago, I set out to write a manual for new people in my field. But what sort of shape would it take? What would I say?

Luckily, I was on what was then an early dedicated word processor; this was before the IBM PC came out. As I thought of topics or gems of wisdom, I'd jot down not just the subject but a central thought about it, or maybe a pearl of phraseology. I didn't know where it would appear in the book, but I knew something like it would need to be there. Store it.

Then another subject or shining phrase. Store it for later. And so on, with no pressure to produce anything final.

After a while I had enough fragments that I could see general themes that might make chapters, and thanks to the magic of the word processor I was able to move the fragments around, and sketch in transitions between them.

In this way you might say I assembled the manual, with much rewriting and pushing and shoving, transplanting, trimming, and polishing. "Can I say this shorter?" "Can I work in a wisecrack that will liven things up?" "Wouldn't this be better said in the chapter about ***?" "Do I even need to deal with this subject?"

This approach would be possible but awkward with hard copy from typewriting, and I think would be less applicable to writing fiction. It has served me well, though, in writing the manual and various articles through the years.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 09:22 AM

I suppose I got it reasonably right in post 2 then? Maybe in fewer words than Kat as well:-)

I knew I could be a good writer!


Tsk. Fewer words make better writing:

"Post 2 got it right? Maybe fewer that Kat."

See, that's paring the writing down to the bone. From nineteen words to nine -- allowing you to bank ten words for later use or to sell to politicians trying to wiggle out of something.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: s&r
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 06:18 AM

Who are you writing for? Much more important than anything else.

Stu

Or 'for whom are you writing', for the pedants.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 02:52 AM

I suppose I got it reasonably right in post 2 then? Maybe in fewer words than Kat as well:-)

I knew I could be a good writer!

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Aug 07 - 02:32 AM

From a poem by Archibald Macleish

"a poem should be palpable and mute
as a globed fruit"

I always thought that said something true about writing.
I liked the 100 word story exercise in one of the Mudcat threads, and the concept of paring down writing to the very briefest and most basic words necessary to convey the meaning. And then paring it again.

I admire Hemingway for his economy of language, and Wolfe for the realism of point of view and description, but I believe that the essential element of interesting writing is in character creation, and specifically through utilization of the telling detail.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,Don Firth (computer, etc.)
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 11:26 PM

Great answer, Kat! I agree with everything you said. Especially the "awaken images" part. I think one of the greatest reading experiences a reader can have is when they get into a piece of writing so thoroughly that they cease to be conscious of the fact that they're reading. The images flow into the mind as if they are watching a movie, or are actually in the writing themselves.

And that takes some pretty good work on the writer's part!

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 10:43 PM

oh dear. I had trouble with the comma after sometimes, but this is not copy editing but editing for meaning and beauty etc. so it probably doesn't matter..but once a nice Catholic girl is set loose on the world, she will automatically be diagramming sentences in her head. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 10:25 PM

Hell, them's good rules for nonfiction, too. I

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 10:14 PM

Good stuff! I dearly love Mark Twain's writing and his wit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 10:11 PM

If you're writing fiction you can't go too far wrong with the laws laid down by Mark Twain in his essay on James Fenimore Cooper's literary sins.

Here are some other things he said about writing:

You need not expect to get your book right the first time. Go to work and revamp or rewrite it. God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by.
- Letter to Orion Clemens, 3/23/1878

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
- Letter to Emeline Beach, 2/10/1868

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
- Letter to D. W. Bowser, 3/20/1880

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
- Letter to H. H. Rogers, 5/1897

No one can write perfect English and keep it up through a stretch of ten chapters. It has never been done.
- "Christian Science"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 10:02 PM

Like my Aunt Lucrecia...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 09:48 PM

The finest way to learn what makes good writing is to put your butt in the chair and write...write much...write often. If you have nothing to say, write about the nothing that you have to say. Describe, report, speculate, converse.

Write as though composing a letter to favorite, trusted aunt.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 09:38 PM

1. Bloviate excessively, making sure to use as many exotic and arcane words as you possibly can. Use really BIG words and really RARE words. This will stun the reader with awe at your knowledge and erudition.

2. Elaborate, elaborate, elaborate! I cannot stress this too highly. Where a word or two will suffice, a veritable flood of them is always better.

3. Use the word "like" as often as possible, even when you're not sure if, like, it should be there. (Example: "I'm like, whatever!" exclaimed Sir Walter Raleigh to the Queen. "He's like, whatever," said the Queen later that evening to her minister of justice. "I'm like, chop off his, head!" "I'm like, consider it done," replies the minister, licking his, like, lips with anticipation. "I'm like, scuppered!" exclaims Sir Walter, as they, like, haul him off in chains to the, like, Tower.)

Note: That is how young people talk nowadays. I was sitting next to a table of 20-somethings today at the Sushi bar, and I swear, they were talking just like that! I swan! ;-) So if you want your writing to appeal to younger people, use "like" at least once in every sentence.

4. Make verbs out of nouns. Make nouns out of verbs. NEVER use adverbs, just replace them with adjectives.

5. Hyphenate frequently. Hyphenated words carry much more authority than non-hyphenated words do.

6. Make sure that all your plural's have apostrophe's. It's not good grammar to use an apostrophe in a plural, but it is popular, and popularity is what really matters in this world. Fuck grammar! Go for popular acceptance every time. Examples: CD's, shoe's, pickle's, 1900's, walruse's.

7. Use popular, well-known buzzword's and phrase's, like....

"Let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes!"
"let's take the ball and run with it!"
"I don't want to see anyone drop the ball!"
"Money talks, bullshit walks!"
"Now, let's get out there and kick ass!"
"You go, girl!"
"Have you mistaken me for someone who cares?"

Your casual and jaunty use of these clever contemporary phrases will show all that you are a mover and a shaker, a person on the inside track, definitely someone to be taken seriously in today's competitive environment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: bobad
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 09:20 PM

George Orwell: 12 Writing Tips

Orwell George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984 and Animal Farm, such essays as "Shooting an Elephant," and his memoir Down and Out in Paris.

George expressed a strong dislike of totalitarian governments in his work, but he was also passionate defender of good writing. Thus, you may want to hear some of George's writing tips.*

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

   1. What am I trying to say?
   2. What words will express it?
   3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
   4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

   1. Could I put it more shortly?
   2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

One can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

   1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
   2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
   3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
   4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
   5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
   6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.   

* From "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 09:14 PM

Thanks, Jerry, I hope so!:-) I love to help folks figure out what it is they want to say.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 08:02 PM

That's great, Kat: You got the job..

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 06:13 PM

I KNEW there'd be a great discussion of this at Mudcat! Thanks, folks! Thanks, esp. to Alba for the *endorsement* and gnudarlin' for being a gracious darlin'...and leeneia for the well wishes. It's a freelance job reading manuscripts to see if they are "worthy." They gave me a neat list of requirements and rating points to add up for the sample ones. They were really awful and I gave them a "reject."

Don, I agree with Heinlein and one of the best books on writing which I have ever read is "On Writing" by Stephen King.

Here's what I sent them:

Good writing must make sense with appropriate use of language. It must intrigue, engage, be coherent, inspire, delight, awaken images in one's mind and sometimes, in one's heart and soul, and be based on a solid premise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:39 PM

LOL Uncle Dave! I note that in a thread about good writing, I have had the misfortune to type the word "diffference" with one less "f" than it requires!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:38 PM

Hearing the smile in the next room, precisely because it's impossible, is an effective use of hyperbole. You just know the fellow had one hell of a smile!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,Don Firth (computer still in the shop)
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:37 PM

A copy of The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. Also, a good dictionary, a good thesaurus, and a good style manual.

To be a successful selling writer, Robert A. Heinlein came up with five very good rules:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must not revise what you write except at editorial request.*
4. You must submit what you write.
5. You must keep submitting it until it sells.
Sounds about right.

*The one thing I disagreed with on this list was item 3, about revising. Then I read an explanation of what Heinlein meant:   don't keep fussing and tinkering with the piece or you might never finish it. Get it done! Computers, as great as they are for editing, can be a trap if you let them be. I found that what I have to do to avoid this trap is (with the excepting of correcting typos and other obvious goofs as I write), don't stop to rewrite anything. Speed write. Don't stop to revise, rewrite, or edit until you have the piece finished. Then you can go back, read it over, and start changing words, moving phrases, rewriting sentences, and such.

I learned this the hard way. Editing on the computer is so easy that I would write a paragraph, read it over, and then start changing or moving words and phrases and sentences. After several hours, I would have one lousy paragraph. Brilliant, glowing prose! But only one paragraph! Then, the following day I'd pull it up on the screen and read it over, and . . . nowhere near as brilliant as I thought it was! That's when I started to blaze through and complete a first draft before I went back to revise and edit.

My stuff is selling a bit. I have about twenty articles published so far.

And, lemme see, there was one other thing. . . .   Oh, yeah. Brevity!

I'm still working on that one.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:34 PM

In the book, the person smiling (as assumed) didn't make a sound. I can understand someone envisioning someone smiling, knowing that they'd react in that manner if they hear something. But "hearing" something when there is no sound seemed too showy for my taste. This from a writer who is endlessly inventive.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:30 PM

avoid bollox. and text spk. and not using capital letters...

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:29 PM

Variety in the length and complexity of sentences. Intelligent use of connectors (conjunctions, howevers, therefores, etc). Big vocabulary. The courage not to be stuffy.

When I was in high school, I was required to memorize the list of subordinating conjunctions. It has been an aid to writing and thinking ever since.

Best of luck in your job quest, kat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:20 PM

Ineluctable is Anglo-Saxon? Them damn roamin' Romans more likely! And those Norman frogs were just as bad!

And don't start a sentence with and.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM

The absolutes of good writing?

It's extremely important that it be expressed in words, and rendered in writing or printing!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:14 PM

Alanabit told us:

I would be happy if someone were to impress upon Germans the diference between a sentence and a paragraph.

I would be happy if someone were to impress upon Germans the difference between a word and a paragraph!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 05:12 PM

This thread is fun to read!

I agree with John Hardly about 'hearing' someone smile from the other room ONLY if the someone is speaking. One can hear the smile in someone's voice but it is well nigh impossible to hear it if they are silent. *grin* (loudly)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,Seiri Omaar
Date: 23 Aug 07 - 04:58 PM

1. Good grammar. Already discussed. And Jerry, SPOT ON about adjectives.
2. Good flow. Already discussed. But spice it up every once in a while.
3. No cliches (unless trying to be cheesy). Next.
4. No long paragraphs of unnecessary description. Being bored to sleep is NOT a goal in writing.
5. Albert Camus' L'Etranger is NOT good writing, in either English or French. *shudders*
6. Minimal or no plot holes. Minimal or no holes in arguments.
7. If you can read the last few pages of a novel and have a good idea about the story as a whole, it is likely bad writing.
8. Be concise, be brief, don't use big words just for using big words.
9. Repetition is good. But don't overwhelm the reader with it (ie. No Great Mischief). Then it is just annoyance and page filler.
10. Consistency in style (unless TRYING to call the reader to something. Know the rules before you break 'em).
11. Proper quotations... PLEASE!

I'd rant some more, but thinking about this stuff makes my brain want to beat its way out of my skull.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


Next Page

 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 20 September 3:08 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.