Simple Writing Advice For This Week

Simplify, simplify.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

This will be one of my shortest posts ever. Simple writing advice:

  • Write fewer articles (the, a, an).
  • Write fewer adverbs or no adverbs at all (quickly, softly, loudly, beautifully, greedily, etc.). Adverbs almost always make the sentence worse.
  • Write fewer adjectives (big, thin, strong, soft, heavy, small, etc.). Adjectives are okay when they create an image, but too many weaken the writing.
  • Start sentences with verbs to push the action forward. In those sentences, let the reader assume the subjects that correspond to those verbs.
  • Trust your reader. Explain less. Let them extrapolate.
  • When you write imagery, don’t write clichés. Come up with your own original images.
  • Keep it simple. Focus on writing these three things: action, imagery, and dialogue.



Pedro Hoffmeister

Author with Random House. TBI survivor who struggles. Poet. Climber. Former Writer-In-Residence of Joshua Tree National Park. Podcast: “Boring Is A Swear Word”