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A Top 10 List of Writing Tips from Famous Writers…

10. Work according to the program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! (Henry Miller)

9. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. (George Orwell)

8. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page. (Margaret Atwood)

7. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.” (Elmore Leonard)

6. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. (Henry Miller)

5. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it. (Neil Gaiman)

4. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils. (Margaret Atwood)

3. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. (George Orwell)

2. Don’t overuse exclamation points!! (William Safire)

1. Leave out the parts readers tend to skip. (Elmore Leonard)

Read the article in by Jim Higgins in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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