Have any of you writers taken the challenge some writing gurus have put forth encouraging people to write a book in 30 days? Yes, but if you give that draft a second look you will see that the pages resemble something a two-year-old wrote, the dog carried it into the yard, and the cat mistook it for litter when he was covering you know what.
I didn't write Off We Go in 30 days—more like 30 years, really I exaggerate, it has been only four, but hey, I had to live the story before I could write it. Yes, I know that all writers ought to have a real life human being besides themselves as editor, but it’s like cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes, the house ought to be presentable.
Remember way back to English 101 and the little book, The Elements of Style? Old E.B. White was right, the best writing is rewriting. I find, however, that I am losing word-count faster than a query can bounce.
Writers might like the following quote. I did after I read it a second time. The first time I thought it was advice, the second time I thought it was funny advice.
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.
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.