Great Rules of Good Writing

If you google “manuscript formatting” or “writing guidelines,” you’ll get a plethora of suggestions on how to write and format your masterpiece.  If you listen to everyone who has an opinion, or even just to those who have an opinion and claim to be experts, you’ll end up writing pablum.

Which may be great it you’re trying to entertain a baby.

So, without further ado, here’s my two cents (or actually someone else’s two cents which I have borrowed and will pay back just as soon as I get my book advance.)

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire

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