Writing Tips


As I decided to purse a career in writing, I looked for some tips to become a better writer. I would like to share with you some of the things I learned. Some of them might be obvious to grammar experts, but I think it could be useful to remember them during the polishing phase.

I recommend two books:

The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr and E.E. White

On Writing - Stephen King

YES to:

  • Short sentences (when in doubt finish your sentence with a period)
  • Comma before but
  • Comma before and after “therefore” or similar in the middle of a sentence
  • Comma before non-defining clause
  • Choose a couple of key adjectives to describe a person or a place (avoid long tedious descriptions).
  • Show (don’t tell). Ex. replace “she was mad” with a description of her facial expression

NO to:

  • Passive form
  • Adverbs (very, really)
  • “So” - replace with therefore or similar
  • “That” to introduce non-defining clauses - replace with who or which
  • “A lot of” - replace with many or much
  • “There is/ there are”
Chiara Townleywriting, author