Monthly Archives: June 2015

Mark’s Writing Tips

Aspiring writers looking for tips online often come across contradictory and confusing advice. I hope to cut through this morass of information by offering simple, common sense ideas that no one will ever contradict, declare useless or consider pretentious. I hope these help, and remember—always keep writing!

Write precisely 1,287 words every day between 7:23 am and 9:41 am.

Never use adverbs. Use adjectives sparingly. Nouns should only appear once every 4.8 sentences. Semi-colons are mythical.

A character should only say, ask or expunge dialogue.

No character should be named Steven. If you’re writing a work of non-fiction about a real person named Steven, change their name to Bartholomew.

Keep your computer on but your monitor off.

It’s key to have a keyboard. It’s only nice to have mice.

Eat spiders to gain their cunning.

Don’t do anything Jonathan Franzen says, even if he’s telling you to take cover. That little fuck isn’t the boss of you.

If you’re having trouble finding motivation, get cancer.

Always listen to whale sounds, unless you’re writing about whales. Then listen to jazz.

Maybe write a mystery? Those seem to be selling alright lately.

Remember to tell yourself that writing is a window into your soul as you spend 15 minutes deciding whether or not to italicise a word that will inevitably be cut later.

Never eat tapioca.