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your inviolable rules of writing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 3OctaveFart, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. 3OctaveFart

    3OctaveFart Guest

    So let's hear them.
    And let's see if this can take a constructive path.
    What are your golden rules?
  2. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Member

    No holiday-themed ledes.

    If you want to try to use one, it'd better knock my socks off, in which case I'll probably congratulate you and then have you re-write it.
  3. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    I've always liked SockPuppet's sig from an Esquire editor: "Will you stop trying to write like Charlie Pierce, BECAUSE YOU FUCKING CAN'T!!!!"

    That's great advice. Trying to ape another writer almost never ends well.
  4. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    If you are over the age of 10 and you misuse:

    - their, there and they're
    - to, too and two
    - its and it's

    Then you need to not be a writer.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    File on time.
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'l second that.
  7. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Let the record show: That was the excellent Andy Ward, to me. Important lesson.
  8. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Omit needless words. (Wm. Strunk)
  9. SellOut

    SellOut Member

    I'm gonna go a slightly different way on this. I think if you read good writing and try to emulate good writers, it can help shape your own writing.
    At my first gig if I was working on a takeout (which I typically saved for the Sunday edition) I would find hole up in one of the offices, bring whatever Gary Smith's latest thing was use it as inspiration. I'm not Gary Smith (not even close) but I found it helpful in some way. More than 15 years later, I'm still not Gary Smith (not even close) and I don't have time to come up with something through osmosis but occasionally I'll put together a graph or two (or three) that I think doesn't completely suck. And there's a little bit of Gary Smith in there, by my lowly standards anyway.
    I flip-flopped between Smith and Tony Kornheiser (who really was fabulous in his prime) and think I came out a less detailed, less funny but still most of the time competent writer. And my voice is my own.
    All that being said, as far as the rules go.
    Dallas is an it. The Cowboys are a they.
  10. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Don't plagiarize. Don't fabricate.
  11. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    ; however,
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    No Homecoming. Ever
    No Senior Night/Day. Ever.
    No "One" kill/point/assist/dig/ace. Ever. Hit, RBI, point in a basketball game? Yes,ONLY if it matters. Goal or assist in a soccer gfame? Yes. All that other shit in volleyball or basketball? Fuck. No.
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