Friday, December 18, 2009

How to Write Good

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

3. Employ the vernacular.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

6. Remember to never split an infinitive.

7. Contractions aren't necessary.

8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

9. One should never generalize.

10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

11. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

12. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

13. Be more or less specific.

14. Understatement is always best.

15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

17. The passive voice is to be avoided.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

22. Don't never use a double negation.

23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point

24. Do not put statements in the negative form.

25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

28. A writer must not shift your point of view.

29. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

30. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!

31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.

32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

37. Always pick on the correct idiom.

38. The adverb always follows the verb.

39. Payed attention to your verb tenses. Readers were usually less forgiving of  assaults on tense rules.

40. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They're old hat; seek viable alternatives.

Wait! Not really last. Don't forget this most important tip of all.

41. Never write on a subject that is so trivial if you want people to take your work seriously. Write about something more profound. Write about things that would make your readers stop and think  like what you had for dinner or maybe your grocery list.  If you can have plenty of photographs to go along with it, that would really be fantabulous. That should attract hordes of readers and boost the number of subscribers to your RSS feed. 

Now, if you do not need these tips then you must be doing pretty fine on your own. Congratulations! You must be one of those bloggers who write GOOD and among the countless proud recipients of that prestigious  Noble Blogger Award.

Photo  Credits
Laughing Walrus


  1. Excellent list! I also find that avoiding any hint of irony also makes your writing gooder.

  2. That is a hilarious post! I think you might have a book in this idea - a spoof on the theme of 'a guide to successful writing' would be one idea ;)

  3. That is the funniest thing I've read all week! And I must admit I was guilty of #5 in my latest post. :-)

  4. My human has been an editor for 20 years and she absolutely adored this!

  5. This is BRILLIANT!
    And that's an understatement.

  6. I know some people who would read this and not get it.

  7. This is helpful tips to all of us.

  8. Thanks for your tips!I'm a newbie in blogging and rest assured that I will take these suggestions seriously. I must say your blog is a one-stop shop for ideas helpful for the members of the blogosphere. Keep it up!

  9. thanks for sharing. this is very useful tips

  10. It was tough for me to understand many of the points but I read all the points and I'm saving them in a notepad.


  11. Hmmm, I'm going to say that if I took that as a test I din' do real good (I have to admit I love alliterations :o) I have a small plaque [coaster] that I love sitting near my computer that says, "Simplicity is the unadorned alter to which conscientious communication strives to bend its humble knee in honor of."
    Fun post!

  12. Hi, I have just listed your blog on one of my blog posts found at

    I would like to know if you allow guest posts for future reference.