10 Rules of Writing


As readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home know, I am always on the lookout for material that will help me, and inspire me, to be a better writer.  Today I ran across Amitava Kumar’s piece at The Indian Quarterly website: “10 Rules for Writing.”

The entire piece is worth your time.

First, here are Kumar’s suggestions for beginning writers:

  1. Do not write long sentences (10-12 words max)
  2. Each sentence should make a clear statement
  3. Do not use big words
  4. Never use words whose meanings you are not sure of
  5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size, and number
  6. Avoid the abstract.  (Always go for the concrete)
  7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way

And now for Kumar’s “10 Rules”:

  1. Write every day
  2. Have a modest goal
  3. Try to write at the same time each day
  4. Turn off the internet
  5. Walk for ten minutes
  6. Pick a book to help you with style
  7. “Get rid of it if it sounds like grant talk”
  8. Learn to say no
  9. Finish one thing before taking up another
  10. The above rule needs to be repeated

See how Kumar develops these points here.