How to Write Good

by Sally Bulford
  • Avoid alliteration. Always.
  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  • Employ the vernacular.
  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  • It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  • Contractions aren’t necessary.
  • Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  • One should never generalize.
  • Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  • Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  • Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • Be more or less specific.
  • Understatement is always best.
  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice is to be avoided.
  • Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  • Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Who needs rhetorical questions?
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.