Avoid alliteration (always) and shun clichés like the plague (they’re old hat!)

Here are some excellent, but firmly tongue-in-cheek writing tips, courtesy of famous New York Times columnist, the late William Safire. Some are his own, some came from other writers. All, while amusing, are also very true. As well as urging us to avoid alliteration and clichés, Safire also advised:

  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
  • Sentence fragments? Eliminate.
  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  • Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

Good stuff, and there’ll be plenty more sound, practical advice, too, from Jo Parfitt, during her Write your Life Stories weeks at the Watermill.

Jo’s first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, so ‘by popular demand’, we’ve opened a second course: Her new Write Your Life Stories week will run from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018.  Come and join us: you won’t regret it! As one student on Jo’s last course here said: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.”

Jo’s creative writing courses are designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically.  Jo Parfitt has published more than 30 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’. Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.” 

Jo plus pic

Jo Parfitt
Write Your Life Stories

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still some places 

AND 22 to 29 September 2018 Course full 

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

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