>>   Improving your writing is as easy as reading these four articles and maintaining a sense of humor.

Semicolon Surgery
and 5 Other Writing Tips:
  Laborious contractions
  Readers are not this DUHmb
  Those ing-things
  Seeing double double
  It's a cliché!

Exclamation Point Spread
and 5 Other Writing Tips:
  Great, colorful, detailed adjective overkill
  Make your Wordsworth it
  He said, she said
  End with a BANG
  Breaking up is hard to do

Overstating the Clearly Obvious
and 4 Other Writing Tips:
  Make it memorable
  Active vs. passive voice
  Avoid tense shifts
  Funky dialogue tags

What Metaphors Are For and
4 Other Writing Tips:
  Their vs. they're vs. there
  Two vs. to vs. too
  A crash course in Latin: i.e. and e.g.
  Similes are like...well, read on
1.   Take it from me: 

>> 8 Lessons from a Swinging Published Author
Here is some important fiction writing advice from a compelling short story titled "Untitled" by Molly Giles in her collection, Creek Walk and Other Stories. Molly is a professor of creative writing, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and winner of the Flannery O'Connor award for short fiction.  The advice is given by fictional character Ellen Trennel to her class of creative writing students.  I have no idea if Ms. Giles believes all of what Ellen said, but I think her words merit consideration: I feel it in my gut.

If you want to be a better writer, don't start a story with your character waking up in bed in the morning.  Don't have anyone look into a bathroom mirror.  Don't say "four-door four-cylinder Chevy Citation" when you can say "car."  All right is two words no matter what the dictionary says.  Remember that strong words--like fuck--lose their effectiveness when repeated.  Commas go inside quotes when followed by attributives.  If you are ever tempted to put your head to the keyboard and laugh out loud at what you've just written, you probably shouldn't drink wine while you're working.  Don't ever say: "Something deep inside her said."  Avoid the word got, avoid the word gut, avoid the word snuckDrugged is not the past tense of drag, though it should be.  Don't change tense in midstory or point of view in midparagraph.  Plagiarize only from pros.  Show don't tell.  If you don't know what to write about, write about something you don't know about.  Never, ever, end a story with, "And then I woke up."
Check out Dr. Charles Darling at his outstanding site, Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Check out the book by David Michael Kaplan, Revision, A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction.
This is a must-read for writers, and not just those who write fiction.  David gives some excellent examples of how to write and revise, explains the WHYs of the revision process, and provides tips that I have found invaluable.  (No, I don't receive a commission on sales of the book.  But I did attend a fiction writing workshop taught by him at the University of Iowa and I learned a lot!)
© 2000-01 by Marilyn D. Davis. All rights reserved. Distributing or copying this material via e-mail, hyperlink, disk, print, or any other medium is prohibited under U.S. copyright law without written permission of the author.
2.   Take it from Molly Giles
3.   Take it from the experts
There's something about writers that compels us to write about writing.  It's like shoemakers wearing shoes.  Okay, perhaps that was a poor analogy--or was it a metaphor?  Which brings me to the purpose of this page.  Even good writers fall victim to the occasional grammar or stylistic gaffe and there are only two remedies:
> a highly paid editor (which most of us, who write for pennies, cannot afford)
> the Big K: Knowledge