Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, reports or essays, comments or blog posts, emails or tweets, these writing tips by Frank L. Visco, originally published in the June 1986 issue of Writers’ digest, can come in handy.
Which is your favorite? Do you agree with all of them?
Published by Vincent Mars
I write as a way of life: stories, blogs, articles, almost-poems. I'm a freelancer, a vegetarian, and I listen to Leonard Cohen and enjoy French films. We are dying a little more with each new day we live, so shouldn't we make the most of our time?
View all posts by Vincent Mars
28 thoughts on “How to Write Good”
My favorite is No. 1, avoid Alliteration. And I might add: Avoid Anaphora. Always. I think those rhetorical figures sound too easy, as if a student is trying to write a good essay.
I just recently thought about it that writers in the Anglo-American hemisphere tend to use Anaphora frequently. My personal interpretation of this fact is that they all read Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream” in high school (which is an Anaphora-laden piece). King’s speech has had an enormous impact since then, but because his speech is so well-known, he made it impossible for anyone to use Anaphora ever again, especially in political articles. Each time when I come across those repetitions, it sounds like cheap plagiarism to me.
Charles Dickens used Anaphora often. English sounds and flows better without repetitions, doesn’t it? That isn’t true for all languages, I would say.
I reread it, then I got it. You’ve got me there 🙂
thank you for this…i do not agree with all of them…depends on what is one’s genre…however i agree with majority of it. Thanks again…great post.
Neither do I. We have to remember, though, that these were written a few decades ago. Some may feel a little outdated, but the majority are still relevant today.
Reblogged this on sarinaroseauthor.
I think that different individual writing styles might clash with some of the above rules; still these rules are quite useful and very interesting.
Indeed. I’d glad you have time to stop here, Daniel.
I’m a new reader so I appreciate the repost ;0)
Is this meant to be ironic? I don’t agree with any of these..
No, I think he meant them. None? Really? Nina the literary rebel! I think some of these are useful for some types of writing, but not for all of course.
Okay, not all are bad. Haha you know me too well 😉
You and I have it in common.
Here’s a good rule: you can always rely on irony for clarity.
Perhaps some of us missed the point. Reread for clarification and humor. I love this each time I encounter it. Thanks for sharing it here. 🙂
I tip my hat to you. 🙂
i think its an awesome post though most of individual writing styles and genres tend to clash with that. Thank you though.
Amusing in its way, but VERY restrictive: can’t I have a little fun? Litotes and Hyperbole, the heavenly twins.
I don’t think any writer should use these as hard and fast rules. Much less creative writers.
Reblogged this on lorizhang56.
Reblogged this on nathantimona and commented:
I love this. Your subtle sense of humor (and Frank Visco’s) makes me laugh not so subtly. This post made my day.
follow back? i love your blog x check out mine
Reblogged this on samueldimeji.
When I work with students learning to write literary essays, I teach most of these “rules.” But when writing on my blog, I delight in breaking them. I love alliteration! Exaggeration is at the heart of humour. (And I couldn’t get by without parentheses).
I think we need to learn how to use these rules, because they are critical to clear, concise communication. But as we gain confidence and range in our writing, particularly in the creative realm, we need to take risks.
Reblogged this on TAI and commented:
Bloggers getting better at writing.
Reblogged this on fredtotherick and commented:
By these 23 standards, I am the worst writer ever. Oh crap.