Writing Advice

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23 sentences that’ll improve your writing more than 12 years of English class

Credit: Dakota Robertson @WrongstoWrite

Delete “very” from your vocabulary. 

Write below a 5th grade level. 

Write first, edit later. 

Write about the benefits, not features. 

Don’t use the word “really” when describing something. 

Use the words “you” and “your” to make your writing feel personal. 

Use active voice, avoid passive voice. 

Your writing sounds believable when you use specific numbers and language. 

Starting sentences with “there” makes your writing hard to understand. 

Write to generate ideas, edit to clarify them. 

Space out your paragraphs so they’re easier to read. 

Stop using “thing” as a descriptive word. 

Use storytelling in your writing to make it more engaging. 

Never use a complex word when a simple one will do. 

Use 80% short sentences, 20% long ones. 

Avoid words that end with “-ing.” 

Your first sentence needs to be short and compelling. 

Write every day, even if nobody reads it. 

90% of the time, you can remove the word “that” from your writing. 

Read your writing out loud to catch mistakes. 

Saying “I think…” makes your writing sound weak. 

Use contractions in your writing to make it sound conversational. 

Use a website like Power Thesaurus to find powerful words to replace boring ones. 

Thanks for reading.

If you got value from this thread, retweet the 1st tweet to help other writers.

Leaving this here since some of y’all are losing your minds.

Avoid *overuse* of words ending in

Follow Dakota at @WrongsToWrite

Stephen King’s 10 writing rules that’ll make you a better writer than 12 years of English class:

If you can write well, you can:

• Persuade people
• Make more money
• Build your influence

Here are 10 rules from one the best writers of our generation to 10x your writing:

6 tips to get you into deep work:

1. Use noise-cancelling earbuds
2. Put your phone in another room
3. Block off 2 hours
4. Use website/app blockers
5. Focus on high ROI 1 task
6. Listen to Hans Zimmer

This is how you get 4 hours of writing done in 2.

Avoid fancy words.

Complicated writing = Harder to read.

Harder to read = Fewer people reading.

Don’t say: “Affirmative.”
Say: “Yes.”

Don’t say: “Nonplussed.”
Say: “Confused.”

Don’t say: “Utilize.”
Say: “Use.”

The smartest writers write “dumb.”

Can’t write 1000 words? Write 500.

Can’t write 500 words? Write 100.

Can’t write 100 words? Write 10.

Build the habit to start and the habit will build your ability to finish.

Never use many words when you can use one.

• A lot of → Many
• In order to → To
• Hard to do → Difficult
• For the purpose of → To
• On a weekly basis → Weekly
• Unknown people → Strangers

Respectable writing respects the readers’ time.

These 3 books made me a better writer than 2 years of college:

1. Writing Tools – Roy Peter Clark
2. On Writing Well – William Zinsser
3. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing – Gary Provost

Only cost me $59 too.

You kill your creativity when you edit while you write.

Editing uses the analytical part of your brain.

Writing uses the creative part of your brain.

Doing both is like stepping on the gas and hitting reverse.

Write first, edit later.

People won’t read your last line if you don’t hook them on the 1st.

7 tips for your hooks:

1. Ask a question
2. Create curiosity
3. Hint at a benefit
4. Use simple words
5. Use words “you” and “your”
6. Start in the middle of the action
7. Keep your opening sentence short

Delete adverbs.

She didn’t “Yell loudly.”
She “Screamed.”

The man didn’t “Run quickly.”
The man “Sprinted.”

The house wasn’t “Really small.”
The house was “Tiny.”

Use the right words and you won’t waste them.

Create an avatar of your ideal reader:

• What’s their job?
• How old are they?
• Where do they live?
• What are their goals?
• What are their hobbies?
• Are they a man or woman?
• What keeps them up at night?

Ask the right questions to attract the right reader.

Write to generate ideas, edit to clarify them.

When writing:

1. Write fast and stupid
2. Don’t worry about mistakes
3. Focus on drafting your ideas

When editing:

1. Cut fluff
2. Simplify words
3. Shorten sentences

10 writing tips that’ll make you a better writer than 12 years of English class:

1. Focus
2. Cut fluff
3. Read lots
4. Kill adverbs
5. Write simple
6. Hook them fast
7. Write to your reader
8. Write 1 word at a time
9. 2nd draft = 1st draft – 10%
10. Separate writing and editing

Originally tweeted by Dakota Robertson (@WrongsToWrite) on October 8, 2022.