“As I see it, a story of almost any kind should be like hypnosis. You fascinate the reader with your first sentence, draw them in further with your second sentence and have them in a mild trance by the third. Then, being careful not to wake them, you carry them away up to the back alleys of your narrative and when they are hopelessly lost within the story, having surrendered themselves to it, you do them terrible violence with a softball bat and then lead them whimpering to the exit on the last page. Believe me, they’ll thank you for it.”—Alan Moore (via writingadvice)
“Don’t get out the thesaurus and hunt for intelligent, impressive sounding words that usually aren’t. Many writers believe they have to dress up their copy in order to present themselves as original and gain the attention and respect they want. This usually has the opposite effect.
As soon as you focus on trying to impress your readers, you’ve lost your way. You’ll start searching for just the right words and begin to lose sight of your real objective, which is to make a point and make it clearly. So, stop with the showiness and simply say whatever it is that you need to say. (…)
If you simply focus on getting your message across clearly, and you actually do that, the style and originality and respect will come naturally–as long as your message is a convincing one. So use the words that most clearly and accurately convey your message, words that the broadest audience will understand and remember.”—Jesse Hines (via writingadvice)
Writers are usually inspired to write because they have a character in their heads who won’t go away. The plot arises from the initial problem or desire that impels that character to act, and the narrative follows the consequences of that action to a satisfying end.
Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.