List of Lists

Besides my list of must do things called Da Guidelinez, many other people have created lists to help the nascent writer. Some are wise; some are old; some are just so-so. If you follow them all, you will never finish writing your novel.

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1975 Farmer’s Almanac

From the 1975 “Old Farmer’s Almanac”, some writing rules

1. Remember to never split an infinitive.
2. Try not to think to use too many infinitives when you sit down to write.
3. The passive voice should never be used.
4. Do not put statements in the negative forms.
5. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
6. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
7. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
8. A writer must not shift your point of view.
9. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
10. Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.
11. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!
12. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of ten or more words, to their antecedents.
13. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
14. If any verb is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
15. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
16. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
17. Everyone should be careful to use a single pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
18. Always pick on the correct idiom.
19. The adverb always follows the verb.
20. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

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Ten Mistakes Aspiring Writers Make

  1. Wondering how to find an agent or publisher before completing the project.
  2. Waiting for inspiration to hit.
  3. Trying to write something “different.”
  4. Using weak nouns and verbs, and passive voice.
  5. Deciding not to read in your genre because you don’t want to inadvertently plagiarize.
  6. Not outlining.
  7. Not setting aside specific times to write.
  8. Not knowing what you want to communicate.
  9. Never reading a book or taking a class on the craft of fiction (or screenplay) writing.
  10. Having an idea for an interesting situation but not an interesting character.

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