Quotes · Writing

Friday Writing Inspiration: George Orwell’s Six Rules for Writing

George Orwell writing tip

Better late than never, right? Happy Friday! I’ve been a tad remiss in doing my Friday inspiration posts, but this evening, I’m back with a bang. Thanks to my boyfriend for sending over these awesome rules for writing, from George Orwell’s Wikipedia page. Most of them are common sense, but always worth keeping in mind. Enjoy!

Above: So true and why I never quite could get into academic writing.

George Orwell writing tip

This one is a toughie. They are so easy to use these, and you can even come to rely on them when you’re quickly getting out a first draft. The good news is that they send off red flags when you read them because they sound so trite, so they’re easy to clear out on edits.

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Even when you’re just begged by the pen to do so.

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This is one that I feel pretty confident in, since I have a background in journalism and I write YA. I think it keeps the writing really fresh, and frees readers to follow story, your own crafty similes and the like, rather than tripping over words they may not have been exposed to.

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There are so many variations on this from other writers. Truman Capote: “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” The famed “Murder your darlings,” first coined by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Basically, don’t be afraid to get rid of stuff. Can definitely be applied to characters and subplots as well!

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And finally, my favorite. Because at the end of the day, no advice should be followed to the letter if it doesn’t work with your style. The most brilliant authors got that way by breaking all the rules.

Happy Friday, and happy weekend!

Leah

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