To kick off the night we have found for you a very interesting article about George Orwell's 'rules for effective writing'. For all of you wanna-be Owells or Updikess out there, hopefully you can be able to incorporate some of this advice into your future best-sellers. Or, if you are just a loyal literature follower, maybe you can see a few of these points implicated in some of the works that you love most.
- 1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. -- Examples like this would be red as a rose, hard a rock, tight as a drum. Even though these expressions are easily understood and recognized ... that is exactly why they should be avoided. These types of expressions are so overworked and over used that they no long inspire any sort of emotion in a reader. The idea is to create your own cliches. Maybe one day we will all be saying as smart as Padfoot and Prongs. I'm just saying...
- 2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. -- Indubitably. Duh.
- 3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. -- You are the ever. You fill in the blank.
- 4. Never use the passive where you can use the active. -- You write the best blog post ever. The best blog in the world is written by you. (Thanks to Al and Nin. for the correction) Active is definitely more effective. An active tense puts you in the readers point of view and helps you feel more immersed in their world. This is by far our favorite rule.
- 5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. -- It seemed to rabbit pretty dobby for A Clockwork Orange. Zammechat?
- 6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. -- This we can agree with to an extent. We do believe that while it is important for a writer to show a certain amount of competency with the English (or Spanish, French, etc.) language, we also believe that it is important to express yourself in whatever manner or style of writing that you see fit. As long as it pertains to the message that you are trying to convery, and you are not trying to simply rely on 'shock value'.
And to finish off the note, we regretfully feel compelled to include a brief acknowledgment of the fact that the author John Updike passed away last Wednesday, January 27th. In the literary world he was known as the "Chronicler of Suburban Adultery” and had numerous popular works. Such titles include; Of the Farm, The Centaur, Terrorist, and his Rabbit Run series, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Although we have never read an Updike novel, we own several of his novels and anticipate reading his works in the future. If any one has any strong feeling twords Updike and would like to share in a personal opinions or recommendations about his works or life feel free to comment. We would love to learn more.
That is all for tonight folks. Keep an eye open for a few reviews this week including Penguin Island, Atlas Shrugged and more. Mischief Managed!