10 Twain tips for good writing


NEGATIVE CAPABILITY celebrates Mark Twain’s birthday. Twain was born in 1835
and his writing advice is as good today as it was in his time. Her are 10 Twain tips for good writing:

1. Get your facts first. Then you can distort them as as you please.

2. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

3. As to the Adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.

4. You need not expect to get your book right the first time. Go to work and revamp or rewrite it.

5. Substitute damn every time you're inclined to write "very."

6. Use good grammar.

7. "There is one thing I can't stand and that is, sham sentimentality.

8. Use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. . Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.

9. The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.

10. Write without pay until somebody offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.