The Next Level
Williams' Ten Principles for Writing ClearlyFrom "Style"
- Distinguish real grammatical rules from folklore
- Use subjects to name the characters in your story
- Use verbs to name their important actions
- Open your sentences with familiar units of information.
- Begin sentences constituting a passive with consistent topic/subjects.
- Get to the main verb quickly:
- Avoid long introductory phrases and clauses.
- Avoid long abstract subjects
- Avoid interrupting the subject-verb connection
- Push new, complex units of information to the end of the sentence
- Be consice:
- Cut meaningless and repeated words and obvious implications
- Put the meaning of phrases into one or two words.
- Prefer affirmative sentences to negative ones.
- Control sprawl.
- Don't tack more than one subordinate clause onto another.
- Extend a sentence with resumptive, summative, and free modifiers.
- Extend a sentence with coordinate structures after verbs.
- Above all, write to others as you would have others write to you.
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