Monday, June 18, 2007

It's just another lazy Monday

i'm still reeling from the runner-up-ness. ok so i'm not. but it's back to searching and waiting to hear back from the u. and patience, while sung wonderfully by axel rose an g'n'r, is something i don't have. "so i was walking the streets at night, just trying to get it right. it's hard to see, with so many around. you know i don't like being stuck in the crowd. but the streets don't change, just maybe the names. i ain't got time for the game, cause i need you, yeah, yeah, yea i need you ..."

it makes me smile that i can just rattle off g'n'r lyrics like that. instead i will presume to go back to my elliott smith ways and "everything means nothing to me." truth be told, i'm feeling lazy and don't really have much to say. so i'm going to enjoy a perk of working from home and make today a movie day. almost famous, slap shot, high fidelity and maybe if i have time i will re-watch the last king of scotland before i have to send it back to netflicks. so in tribue to my laziness and the fact that i am a writer i'll give you parting words from scott adams and dilbert. i miss having co-workers so the dilberts could be more pertinent. i'm a mean human being.

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Writing

I went from being a bad writer to a good writer after taking a one-day course in “business writing.” I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I’ll tell you the main tricks here so you don’t have to waste a day in class.

Business writing is about clarity and persuasion. The main technique is keeping things simple. Simple writing is persuasive. A good argument in five sentences will sway more people than a brilliant argument in a hundred sentences. Don’t fight it.

Simple means getting rid of extra words. Don’t write, “He was very happy” when you can write “He was happy.” You think the word “very” adds something. It doesn’t. Prune your sentences.

Humor writing is a lot like business writing. It needs to be simple. The main difference is in the choice of words. For humor, don’t say “drink” when you can say “swill.”

Your first sentence needs to grab the reader. Go back and read my first sentence to this post. I rewrote it a dozen times. It makes you curious. That’s the key.

Write short sentences. Avoid putting multiple thoughts in one sentence. Readers aren’t as smart as you’d think. ( editor comment: i totally agree with that statement.)

Learn how brains organize ideas. Readers comprehend “the boy hit the ball” quicker than “the ball was hit by the boy.” Both sentences mean the same, but it’s easier to imagine the object (the boy) before the action (the hitting). All brains work that way. (Notice I didn’t say, “That is the way all brains work”?)

That’s it. You just learned 80% of the rules of good writing. You’re welcome.

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