Art & Design Magazine

The Only Rule of Good Writing

By Cilaw

My Creative Writing Masters course astounds me. Often for very wrong reasons. The other day in class a woman old enough to know better said, absolutely sans irony: “I know we’re not supposed to use adverbs or adjectives but…”

I near enough fell off my chair. Says who? Whatever next? Banish commas? Forbid verbs? Only use proper nouns on the first Tuesday after the full moon? One of my classmates attempted to defend this absurdity by saying that writers shouldn’t use adverbs because you end up with phrases like “shouted loudly.” Which, as justifications go, is not so merely lame but paraplegiac. “Shouted loudly” is terrible because it is a tautology — “shouted” implies “loudly.” The adverb is innocent. Take a phrase such as “the wind blew softly”; the adverb is an essential modifier if the reader is to know how the wind blew, e.g. loudly, softly, ferociously. What is at stake here is not the use of an adverb, but the quality of the writing.

That is the only rule of good writing: pay attention to what you’re putting on the page. Forget rules and learn to write. As Orwell notes:

“If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy… when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.”


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Lace Up Pom Tree

    Lace Tree

    Without putting any much effort a summer dress can give us so much of goals from comfortability to enhancing our style to a new factor. If you're bored of the... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Chayanikarabha
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE, SHOPPING
  • How to Know This is the Right Book to Read

    Know This Right Book Read

    In the past, people had to make an effort in order to get ahold of books they were interested in reading. Nowadays, though, they have an entirely different... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Mariagrazia
    ART & DESIGN, BOOKS, CULTURE, MOVIES
  • Cheap Trick is Serving Pizza and Beer in Wicker Park

    Cheap Trick Serving Pizza Beer Wicker Park

    Greg Kot (left); Rick Nielsen (right) What’s more Chicago than pizza, beer and rock royalty all under one roof? You probably recognize Rick Nielsen as the... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
    TRAVEL
  • La Pinoz Pizza Offers Excellent Pizzas, Pastas, Tacos and More

    Pinoz Pizza Offers Excellent Pizzas, Pastas, Tacos More

    La Pinoz Pizza offers excellent pizzas, pasta, tacos, and more. But I feel there is a scope of some innovation and variation to, may be, attract a larger segmen... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Jaideep Khanduja
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Planting Trees Will Not Slow Global Warming

    Planting Trees Will Slow Global Warming

    GR: There’s lots of loose talk going around about “geoengineering” our way out of the climate-change disaster. I say it’s loose talk because there’s been no... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Garry Rogers
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, BOOKS, ENVIRONMENT
  • The 3rd Annual Country LakeShake is Coming to Northerly Island

    Annual Country LakeShake Coming Northerly Island

    Grab Your Boots, Y’all! Tired of trekking to Wisconsin to enjoy a summer country music festival? Well, no shoes, no shirt, no problem, Chicago country music... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
    TRAVEL
  • Summer Decor Styling

    Summer Decor Styling

    This summer season I have chosen to keep my seasonal styling simplewith a wind of a coastal breezes.Air plants are even abundant in my decor right nowbecause I... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Tamera Beardsley
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE