33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer

33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer - 33 Unusual Tips...

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33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer Posted by James Altucher on March 3rd, 2011 Back in college, Sanket and I would hang out in bars and try to talk to women but I was horrible at it. Nobody would talk to me for more than thirty seconds and every woman would laugh at all his jokes for what seemed like hours. Even decades later I think they are still laughing at his jokes. One time he turned to me, “the girls are getting bored when you talk. Your stories go on too long. From now on, you need to leave out every other sentence when you tell a story.” We were both undergrads in Computer Science. I haven’t seen him since but that’s the most important writing (and communicating) advice I ever got. 33 other tips to be a better writer. - Write whatever you want. Then take out the first paragraph and last paragraph. Here’s the funny thing about this rule. It’s sort of like knowing the future. You still can’t change it. In other
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words, even if you know this rule and write the article, the article will still be better if you take out the first paragraph and the last paragraph. - Take a huge bowel movement every day . And you won’t see that on any other list on how to be a better writer. If your body doesn’t flow then your brain won’t flow. Eat more fruit if you have to. - Bleed in the first line. We’re all human. A computer can win Jeopardy but still not write a novel. You want people to relate to you, then you have to be human. Penelope Trunk started a post a few weeks ago: “I smashed a lamp over my head. There was blood everywhere. And glass. And I took a picture.” That’s real bleeding. My wife recently put up a post where the first line was so painful she had to take it down. Too many people were crying. - Don’t ask for permission. In other words, never say “in my opinion” (or worse “IMHO”). We know it’s your opinion. You’re writing it. - Write a lot. I spent the entire 90s writing bad fiction. 5 bad novels. Dozens of bad stories. But I learned to handle massive rejection. And how to put two words together. In my head, I won the pulitzer prize. But in my hand, over 100 rejection letters. - Read a lot . You can’t write without first reading. A lot. When I was writing five bad novels in a row I would read all day long whenever I wasn’t writing (I had a job as a programmer, which I would do for about five minutes a day because my programs all worked and I just had to “maintain” them). I read everything I could get my hands on.
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer - 33 Unusual Tips...

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