Writing advice?

I’ve been meaning for awhile to start a thread for people to share their writing advice. I’m finally doing it because next week at my job, I’m supposed to teach the kids writing. While I apparently have some idea of what I’m doing as a writer since all of you read my blog, I’m not always very conscious of what I do when I write. But here’s a few pieces of advice I’ve found useful.

Possibly the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever seen is Stephen King’s, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” That will be the first thing I tell my students on Monday, and I know it’s the main reason I write as well as I do (however well you think that is.)

I also plan on teaching them not to make paragraphs and sentences too long, and maybe even (getting edgy here!) that they can begin sentences with “and” and “but” to avoid overly-long sentences using those words.

But this thread isn’t just about them, I do want to discuss advice that could benefit all us native speakers (and my Korean co-workers, who need a different kind of writing advice than my kids). To that end, let me recommend George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” and Luke Muehlhauser’s “Rhetoric for the Good.”

What other really good writing advice have you gotten?


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