Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Good Fiction

Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Good Fiction

Many great writers include ideas for how to write good fiction, but I particularly like John Grisham’s list:

DO – Write a page every day

DON’T – Write the first scene until you know the last

DO – Write your one page each day at the same place and time

DON’T – Write a prologue

DO – Use quotation marks with dialogue

DON’T – Keep a thesaurus within reaching distance

DO – Read each sentence at least three times in search of words to cut

DON’T – Introduce 20 characters in the first chapter

The last two in items on his list are particularly pertinent to young writers: words can always be cut, and characters shouldn’t be an extensive list of a writer’s friends. George Orwell produced the best description of what all writers should be aiming for with their prose when he said, “Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.”  The ability for pupils to review and improve their writing thereby creating their own ‘window panes’ of wonder is built into each topic pack at Love Teaching Writing.


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