Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Writing right & kudos acknowledged & more

1
How to write good

Only occasionally do I write about the mechanics of writing here, but this decades-old advice is worth passing along. While going through old (paper) files recently I came upon something I’d copied off the web in the mid-1990s.

This is one of those less-than serious posts that have flourished in the online world since the Internet began. I wondered if this short article was still in online circulation. It is.  I offer an abbreviated version here of “How to Write Good,” attributed to Sally Bulford. Among the 22 “rules” for good writing, these are my favorites.

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Contractions aren’t necessary.

3. One should never generalize.

4. Comparisons are as bad a clichés.

5. Don’t be redundant by using more words than necessary; it’s extremely needless and also superfluous.

6. Be more or less specific.

7. Analogies in writing are like glue on an apostrophe.

8. The passive voice is to be avoided.

9. Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.

And while I’m passing along English advice, let me be serious for a moment.  I wish everyone would stop saying (or writing) “going forward.”  You can use it when you’re describing the direction your car is moving, but in almost all other instances it’s redundant and can be eliminated without changing the sense of the sentence. Think about it.

Dark Ride Deception named a favorite book

My latest mystery was just named to the list of Favorite Books of 2021 by Kings River Life Magazine. Here’s what they said:

Dark Ride Deception

A noirish look at industrial espionage and murder in the world of amusement parks. Lyle, an ex-cop, drives a cab at a 70s theme park and does some detective work for the boss. Kate, an ex-basketball player, is in charge of public relations. A severed finger in his cab and feuding actors filming a movie in the park set off a chain of mysterious events in this fast-moving quest for the truth

Terrorist bombs

Stay tuned.  The next article (post) on this website (& email) will be a look back at a terrorism on the screen.

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