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Allen Guthrie's Infamous Writing Tips

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

smellycat6464

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this is amazing, i want to print it out and tape it do my desk so ill never forget it!
 

pretzels

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I read this and was very helpful!

I just love this part:
32: If something works, forget about the rule that says it shouldn’t.
[/QUOTE]
 

Elwolf

Rabbit! Hunting Mode.
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Hm, I have a small little problem with making tension between the characters. All of mine are very forgiving. They, like, never argue. I never really thought about it before, but now that I do--I gots to edit! And change stuff! Thanks for putting this up! It helped me a lot!
 

trumpetology

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Loved the list. Thanks so much.

My favorite has to be arrive late and leave early. Wonderful advice, and clever delivery.
 

CinthiaX

Storyteller of epic absurdity
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Thank you, my new fav threader! This really should be tattooed on the back of every writer's hand!
 

PtaHeru1:1

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Awesome list!!

Unfortunately now I'll have to get rid of my manuscript's shrugs and sighs. :(

Does this advice pertain to frowns? (kidding!)
 

Ken S.

One word at a time...
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This was a great list. I knew some of them, but not all. I've got a copy on my desktop and I might just shrink em down to a size where I can fit them all on a laminated card and carry it with me
 

Robert M

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I am in the process of manuscript polishing and came across this at the right time. I'm getting a lot right but a lot not so much.

Great to have such strong advice condensed. Thanks for sharing it. Printing it now...
 

madboss889

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One of my professors was big on teaching this: "If something works, forget about the rule that says it shouldn’t." As long as you understand the rules, you can break them!
 

GiantRampagingPencil

That new author smell . . .
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I agree--except for rule 29. What's wrong with smiling, sighing, grinning, and shrugging? Perfectly, human, normal actions.
 

Niniva

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Can someone fill me in better on number 25? I thought the tense was the tense, and to shift the tense shifted the time. I'm using "Had" for every action that takes place prior to the action in the story. If I omit this, how can the reader know that it is past tense in the past tense?

[I so hope that made sense. I also hope someone hasn't already addressed this in this massive thread that I haven't read yet.]

25: Avoid unnecessary repetition of tense. For example: I’d gone to the hospital. They’d kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I’d seen a doctor. Usually, the first sentence is sufficient to establish tense. I’d gone to the hospital. They kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I saw a doctor.
 

Flagship

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I read the entire list thinking, 'what the hell is this person talking about? You can't make sweeping generalizations like that!' until I hit the last rule. Then it all made sense.

There are some seriously good ones in there, especially the one about touch and scent. I also really liked 19, it made me laugh as well as try to think of a circumstance in which that rule wasn't followed. It took me a while.
 

TerpNsign

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Ughhh... I have edited and edited my book for almost two years now... and now I am going to do it again :/ These were great tips and I will abide by as many as possible :) Thanks for the list!
 

Haikujitsu

Thick Skin, What's That?
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Heck yes. This is exactly what I keep trying to get across...and there are a few on here I know I'm guilty of, like grins and shrugs. Oh, help.

-Hj
 

Merenwen

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#29.............Good God. I often use it as filler for non-action. I know it's trite when I write it, but do it anyway.

This is an excellent list. Yet, I suggest only applying them to the second draft. You don't want to get garbled up in semantic during the first draft.
 

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