// December 11th, 2012 // On Writing
Write to write – not to fill pages
by Glenn Magas
Have you read Strunk & White’s Elements of Style? If you’re a writer, you probably have it on your shelf somewhere. And if you read it, and you’ve followed the rules, then you repeatedly, maybe unconsiously, break them – as I am doing right now perhaps.
But… if you want to know the proper uses of a semi-colon or a colon, that’s the book of reference that will postion you on the straight and narrow.
I enjoy researching the book, getting confused, and find myself stuck in the same old gramatical habits. I mean hell… I’m not being tested on it so why should I learn it to pass it?
I hate being bogged down by rules and regulations. Heck, my voice requires no rules and regulations. If I ain’t gonna be myself, and write like I want to, then, well, um… what was I saying again?
Oh well, that being said – which I like to say alot: that being said… here is something I pulled that I thought writers might like, ponder, and inspire their writing for the day.
Strunk & White’s 11 Composition Principles
- Choose a suitable design and stick to it.
- Make the paragraph the unit of composition.
- Use the active voice.
- Put statements in positive form.
- Use definite, specific, concrete language.
- Omit needless words.
- Avoid a succession of loose sentences.
- Express coordinate ideas in similar form.
- Keep related words together.
- In summaries, keep to one tense.
- Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end.
I love #2… Make the paragraph the unit of composition.
Approach each parapgrah as a piece of composition that supports the whole story. Don’t just write for the sake of pages. Create and have each paragraph impact the story and highlight your voice. Stick to it and the theme will run through and be a part of your whole story-line!
Now, if someone can share examples of #11… that’d be really helpful.
(Why did I use Calvin & Hobbes as a picture in this post? Cause they are cute!)
Five non-screenwriting books for screenwriters!