# 5–10 of 101 Tips for Good Writing from Great Writers


It’s been quite a while since I shared from this fun resource, so I thought I’d do so again. These par­tic­u­lar tips are by some of my favorites. Who didn’t grow up lov­ing Charlotte’s Web? And I remem­ber dis­tinctly my expe­ri­ences of read­ing Orwell and Brad­bury and Fitzger­ald in high school; Samuel John­son? — alas, not so much, but that’s OK — he still has a valu­able tip to share.

(To see Tips 1–4, click here. To see tips 11–101, sub­scribe to this blog using the icon to the right and watch for them every so often.)

5. EB White. Just write. The author of Charlotte’s Web, one of the most beloved of children’s books, said that “I admire any­body who has the guts to write any­thing at all.”

6. Samuel John­son. Keep your writ­ing inter­est­ing. “The two most engag­ing pow­ers of an author are to make new things famil­iar and famil­iar things new.”

7. Ray Brad­bury. Learn to take crit­i­cism well and dis­count empty praise, or as Brad­bury put it, “to accept rejec­tion and reject acceptance.”

8. Toni Mor­ri­son. Remem­ber that writ­ing is always about com­mu­ni­ca­tion. “Every­thing I’ve ever done, in the writ­ing world, has been to expand artic­u­la­tion, rather than to close it.”

9. George Orwell. Orwell offered twelve solid tips on cre­at­ing strong writ­ing, includ­ing an active voice rather than a pas­sive one and elim­i­nat­ing longer words when shorter ones will work just as well.

10. F. Scott Fitzger­ald. “Cut out all those excla­ma­tion marks. An excla­ma­tion mark is like laugh­ing at your own joke.”

…Or like what my hus­band and I call “doing a Jay Leno” — that is, repeat­ing the punch line of your own joke even though the audi­ence clearly already gets it because you think it’s so funny!!!!!!!!! 😀

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