Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Write Good (Like)

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 clichés.

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 their antecedents.

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. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; they're old hat; seek viable alternatives.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New book-blogger resource: HNS Competitions

I've not been blogging much and I have been shamefully neglectful of my clients (who I do hope will forgive me!) because I have been a-making stuff, not least a promotion platform for the Historical Novel Society.

I hope it's going to be a winner, allowing the Society to partner with buffs and bloggers to run social media campaigns with dedicated landing pages, sticky content and shedloads of resources.

So I've made a little HNS Competitions mini site as a resource for history and historical fiction enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes to work with the Historical Novel Society to promote the best books, authors, multi-media and events – and by doing so, to help promote their own sites to a wider readership and community.

The aim is to make available targeted, attractive content and real-value offers from publishers, authors and booksellers that bloggers can offer to their readers. And in return the bloggers get yummy backlinks from the Society's sites, tweeted up big time, and the chance of review copies and exclusive interviews with top authors - the launch offer is Bernard Cornwell.

Well to be fair, they don't get to keep him, but they get to offer tickets to his book tour, copies of his new book DEATH OF KINGS and the chance of an exclusive interview on their site.

So any bloggers wanting participate should get in touch via the HNS Competitions site or email hnscompetitions at gmail dot com

Comments here work too!