11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

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Ramandeep08
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11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby Ramandeep08 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:09 am

To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Brilliant writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly.

Here are 11 ways you can start sounding brilliant:

1. Have something to say
This makes writing easier and faster. When you have nothing to say, you are forced to write sentences that sound meaningful but deliver nothing.
Read widely. Take notes. Choose your subjects wisely. Then share your information with readers.

2. Be specific
Consider two sentences:
I grow lots of flowers in my back yard.
I grow 34 varieties of flowers in my back yard, including pink coneflowers, purple asters, yellow daylilies, Shasta daisies, and climbing clematis.


3. Choose simple words
Write use instead of utilize, near instead of close proximity, help instead of facilitate, for instead of in the amount of, start instead of commence.
Use longer words only if your meaning is so specific no other words will do.

4. Write short sentences
You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they’re easier to read and understand.
Each sentence should have one simple thought. More than that creates complexity and invites confusion.

5. Use the active voice
In English, readers prefer the SVO sentence sequence: Subject, Verb, Object. This is the active voice.
When you reverse the active sequence, you have the OVS or passive sequence: Object, Verb, Subject.
You can’t always use the active voice, but most writers should use it more often.

6. Keep paragraphs short
Look at any newspaper and notice the short paragraphs.
That’s done to make reading easier, because our brains take in information better when it’s broken into small chunks.

7. Eliminate fluff words
Qualifying words, such as very, little, and rather, add nothing to your meaning and suck the life out of your sentences.
For example:
It is very important to basically avoid fluff words because they are rather empty and sometimes a little distracting.

8. Don’t ramble
Rambling is a big problem for many writers. Not as big as some other problems, such as affordable health insurance or the Middle East, which has been a problem for many decades because of disputes over territory.

9. Don’t be redundant or repeat yourself
Also, don’t keep writing the same thing over and over and over. In other words, say something once rather than several times. Because when you repeat yourself or keep writing the same thing, your readers go to sleep.

10. Don’t over write
This is a symptom of having too little to say or too much ego.
Put your reader first. Put yourself in the background. Focus on the message.

11. Edit ruthlessly
Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning. It’s okay to write in a casual style, but don’t inject extra words without good reason.
To make this easier, break your writing into three steps:
1) Write the entire text.
2) Set your text aside for a few hours or days.
3) Return to your text fresh and edit.

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ostarella
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Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby ostarella » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:47 am

While I agree with some sentences above, overall it sounds like you're saying "Dumb down your writing to appeal to the lowest common denominators" - which most successful writers don't do. For example, "use simple words". I don't believe one should write with a thesaurus in hand, but I also don't believe we should be afraid of having and using a large vocabulary. And "write short sentences". That's fine if you're writing a fight scene - but it doesn't necessarily work if you're trying to put the reader into a specific mood, or build tension, or in dialog. And of course I have to add that your last point simply doesn't work for writers like me, who edit as we go.

So no, following those tips will not lead to "brilliant" writing, IMO. A fast read, sure. But those are the books I grab at the airport and leave on the seat when I get off the plane.
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williamadams
 

Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby williamadams » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:39 am

[quote="ostarella"]While I agree with some sentences above, overall it sounds like you're saying "Dumb down your writing to appeal to the lowest common denominators" - which most successful writers don't do. For example, "use simple words". I don't believe one should write with a thesaurus in hand, but I also don't believe we should be afraid of having and using a large vocabulary. And "write short sentences". That's fine if you're writing a fight scene - but it doesn't necessarily work if you're trying to put the reader into a specific mood, or build tension, or in dialog. And of course I have to add that your last point simply doesn't work for writers like me, who edit as we go.

So no, following those tips will not lead to "brilliant" writing, IMO. A fast read, sure. But those are the books I grab at the airport and leave on the seat when I get off the plane.[/quote]
=========

it depends

who are you writing to/for

best to match the intended audience if you write for them
of course you should please yourself or a snooty prof if you are just writing to write and dont care about anyone reading it

williamadams
 

Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby williamadams » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:44 am

[quote="Ramandeep08"]To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Brilliant writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly.

Here are 11 ways you can start sounding brilliant:

1. Have something to say
This makes writing easier and faster. When you have nothing to say, you are forced to write sentences that sound meaningful but deliver nothing.
Read widely. Take notes. Choose your subjects wisely. Then share your information with readers.

2. Be specific
Consider two sentences:
I grow lots of flowers in my back yard.
I grow 34 varieties of flowers in my back yard, including pink coneflowers, purple asters, yellow daylilies, Shasta daisies, and climbing clematis.


3. Choose simple words
Write use instead of utilize, near instead of close proximity, help instead of facilitate, for instead of in the amount of, start instead of commence.
Use longer words only if your meaning is so specific no other words will do.

4. Write short sentences
You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they’re easier to read and understand.
Each sentence should have one simple thought. More than that creates complexity and invites confusion.

5. Use the active voice
In English, readers prefer the SVO sentence sequence: Subject, Verb, Object. This is the active voice.
When you reverse the active sequence, you have the OVS or passive sequence: Object, Verb, Subject.
You can’t always use the active voice, but most writers should use it more often.

6. Keep paragraphs short
Look at any newspaper and notice the short paragraphs.
That’s done to make reading easier, because our brains take in information better when it’s broken into small chunks.

7. Eliminate fluff words
Qualifying words, such as very, little, and rather, add nothing to your meaning and suck the life out of your sentences.
For example:
It is very important to basically avoid fluff words because they are rather empty and sometimes a little distracting.

8. Don’t ramble
Rambling is a big problem for many writers. Not as big as some other problems, such as affordable health insurance or the Middle East, which has been a problem for many decades because of disputes over territory.

9. Don’t be redundant or repeat yourself
Also, don’t keep writing the same thing over and over and over. In other words, say something once rather than several times. Because when you repeat yourself or keep writing the same thing, your readers go to sleep.

10. Don’t over write
This is a symptom of having too little to say or too much ego.
Put your reader first. Put yourself in the background. Focus on the message.

11. Edit ruthlessly
Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning. It’s okay to write in a casual style, but don’t inject extra words without good reason.
To make this easier, break your writing into three steps:
1) Write the entire text.
2) Set your text aside for a few hours or days.
3) Return to your text fresh and edit.[/quote]
================

a nice guideline for beginners

10
too many books are just a magazine article that got expanded to have enough pages to make it a book

8
rambling is a big problem. some people have nothing to say so keep writing hoping to say something. others are just unorganised and need to get warmed up before they start writing seriously.

1
is too obvious. yet many people have nothing to say. does not stop them from just writing anyway hoping they find out later that they actually did say something in the pile of words they wrote.

2 contradicts 4

11 fixes 10 unless your contract calls for xx-1000 words

williamadams
 

Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby williamadams » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:46 am

those tips wont make your writing brilliant but they will help improve it

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Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby ostarella » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:40 pm

[quote="williamadams"]
it depends

who are you writing to/for

best to match the intended audience if you write for them
of course you should please yourself or a snooty prof if you are just writing to write and dont care about anyone reading it[/quote]

Writers need to keep their audience in mind, of course - but one should not condescend either. And if a writer doesn't like what they're writing, why would anyone else?
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williamadams
 

Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby williamadams » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:06 pm

[quote="ostarella"][quote="williamadams"]
it depends

who are you writing to/for

best to match the intended audience if you write for them
of course you should please yourself or a snooty prof if you are just writing to write and dont care about anyone reading it[/quote]

Writers need to keep their audience in mind, of course - but one should not condescend either. And if a writer doesn't like what they're writing, why would anyone else?[/quote]
============

i would look at it the other way

if the audience doesnt like it does it matter if the writer likes it
or a critic or some english prof likes it

the point of writing is to get others to read what you have to say
else why bother writing it at all
just think about it and save the trouble of putting it on paper

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Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby ostarella » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:38 pm

[quote="williamadams"]

i would look at it the other way

if the audience doesnt like it does it matter if the writer likes it
or a critic or some english prof likes it

the point of writing is to get others to read what you have to say
else why bother writing it at all
just think about it and save the trouble of putting it on paper[/quote]


So you would write stuff you hate because it will sell? I've seen writers who do that - it shows in the work. It really, really does.

Writers cannot please everyone. If I had to dumb down my writing out of fear that some people wouldn't read it, I'd quit writing. I have to write in a way that makes me proud of what I've written. If that means a smaller audience, I'm fine with that. McDonald's may sell more than a fancy New York restaurant, but that doesn't make the food better.
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williamadams
 

Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby williamadams » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:31 pm

[quote="ostarella"][quote="williamadams"]

i would look at it the other way

if the audience doesnt like it does it matter if the writer likes it
or a critic or some english prof likes it

the point of writing is to get others to read what you have to say
else why bother writing it at all
just think about it and save the trouble of putting it on paper[/quote]


So you would write stuff you hate because it will sell? I've seen writers who do that - it shows in the work. It really, really does.

Writers cannot please everyone. If I had to dumb down my writing out of fear that some people wouldn't read it, I'd quit writing. I have to write in a way that makes me proud of what I've written. If that means a smaller audience, I'm fine with that. McDonald's may sell more than a fancy New York restaurant, but that doesn't make the food better.[/quote]
=========

i dont write unless it woudl sell
except opeds for free when they promote a better society by stopping the tax and spend establishment by telling the truth

i would not write things i dont like just to try to sell them
eg fantasy horror erotica

i would write things i do like to sell them
and write them in the way to maximise sales --
non fiction how to
even fiction if its spy mystery thriller
but not romcom as i could not do that well even though i like that type of movie

so i would write what i am okay with writing in a way that it would maximise sales

i have no desire to impress some english prof or critics or others with fancy high falootin writing to please them if it would in any way detract from sales

i dont care how good the food is in nyc
i do care how good the food is that i can buy because my paycheck will let me
and i buy better food with a bigger check that results from more sales

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Re: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing!

Postby ostarella » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:40 pm

[quote="williamadams"]
i have no desire to impress some english prof or critics or others with fancy high falootin writing to please them if it would in any way detract from sales[/quote]

We're not talking about impressing some English professor (you seem to have a problem with them) or anyone else, for that matter. At least, I'm not. I'm talking about not insulting readers by thinking we have write down to them. That doesn't make for "brilliant writing" nor does it guarantee sales. Writers have to understand their audience, but that doesn't mean pandering to them in order to make a buck.
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