Friday, 3 December 2010

The 7 Commands of Writing

Jake can inspire reading in - just about -anyone ;)

  • Set the scene, but make sure you establish command with a strong first impression

  • Inspire your character and your reader, don’t tell them about the experience, drop them in it.

  • Avoid barbed wire writing – repetition snags the reader – not in their best interests

  • Be inventive, realistic and dynamic - you will avoid slipping into danger

  • Say it with precision : keep active; passive can be seen as weakness

  • Communicate effectively: confusion - and misunderstandings - costs... readers

  • Master the need to use –ly words – but keep a few, it can show character.

Remember the four Rs:  Reconnoitre. wRite Revise. Redraft

Good luck on your mission.

Done now! ;) I've extended that analogy about as far as it can go. Now what am I going to post next week!


  1. Elaine this is fantastic! I'm copying it and hanging it by my computer. And hey, can I borrow Jake when you're done with him?

  2. Hi Anne
    I am deeelighted that the Commands are posted over at yours ;)
    There are many things in my possession I would happily lend you, but if Jake were one of them I think I'd need to be coerced to let him go. :)

  3. Great post! Inspiring reading is definitely not what Jake is doing right now. But alas, time to get the kids ready for school. No daydreaming allowed for now. ;)

  4. I'll let you borrow my muse* for a week if you let me borrow Jake.

    (*Muse = Colin Farrell)

  5. These are all great points,
    Going on the flow of this you could actually start writing a bit more in detail on each one if you wanted, like Passive voice, you can show and tell with examples, or even give helpful words to avoid when writing and

  6. Hi Stina
    I don't know Taylor says she writes a about her life: it's probably keeping Jake busy ;)

    Hi Anne
    You know that's almost a fair trade. Colin's been around a lot at the moment - in the UK that is. :)

    Hi Summmer
    Thanks for your kind words and suggestion. Writing with Military Precision was originally all one post. Bite sized made the message stronger and easier to digest ;)

  7. Great advice! (For when I'm done square bashing!)

  8. Great advice. Right now I especially like #6. I'm dealing with a writer who thinks confusing the reader is a great way to create narrative tension. Arrgghh.

    And oooooh what a nice picture...

  9. Hi Dominic
    Poor keyboard! Square bashing is one way to write :)

    Hi Anne
    Poetical writing - I fight the need to write-clever. I feel for you both. Hopefully, she is amenable to change and growth.
    It does look like a delectable read ;)

  10. OOh this is great! I haven't quite mastered my ly words yet. :)

  11. These are super duper! I love the tips and try to use them when I write. Love the 3 Rs.

  12. Hi Jennifer
    You don't need to worry about the -ly words . According to most sources you need a few to enable your characters to be fully rounded. :)

    Hi Clarissa
    The couldn't whittle the four Rs down to three - it portrays writing as an ongoing process. ;)