Blue Flower Editing



Stephen King's 14 tips on writing well


Many horror and true crime writers have read Stephen King's On Writing. If you haven't, below are his tips neatly summarized in an infographic. As a professional copyeditor and proofreader, I especially like these three tips:

  • Avoid using passive tense (or voice). In most circumstances, use active voice so that the person/thing responsible for the action in the sentence comes first. If the actor is unknown or irrelevant, you want to be vague about who is responsible, or you want to emphasize the person or thing acted on, use the passive voice.

  • The road to hell is paved with adverbs. The problem with using a lot of adverbs is that it allows the writer to “show, not tell,” which can make him or her seem timid and inexperienced. For example, “running” or “speed walking” is an improvement from “walking really fast,” and (to show a character is angry) “Emmett slammed the door” is much better than “Emmett firmly closed the door.”

  • Never use “emolument” when you mean “tip.” Peoples, imagine if I utilized a plethora of grandiloquent words in this entire post? That would be egregious! You would most likely not want to look up definitions and leave the website.  Don’t distract (and potentially confuse) your readers by using fancy or long words.

Do you need help with your writing? Contact me today to discuss your project!

Antonn Park