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17.03.2015 20:42    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Tips      Tags: writing tips  oakley hall  olivia salter  

Oakley Hall was asked as a novelist and teacher of writing, for a list of writing tips from the San Francisco newspaper, he produced the following list:

  1. Write every day.
  2. Observe and listen.
  3. Employ all the senses.
  4. Use strong verbs.
  5. Detail!
  6. A specific always beats an abstraction.
  7. Describe in motion.
  8. Anglo-Saxon words are usually more effective than romance based.
  9. Fiction is dramatization; dramatization is point of view, senseimpressions, detail, action and dialogue.
  10. In dialogue, keep speeches short.
  11. Look for likenesses, parallels, contrasts, antitheses and reversals.
  12. Beware the use of the habitual case (would), the passive voice and the word there.
  13. Plotting is compulsion versus obstacles.
  14. In the second draft, start deleting adverbs.
  15. Borrow widely, steal wisely.


Excerpted from, "How Fiction Works"



Oakley Hall



Oakley Maxwell Hall (July 1, 1920 – May 12, 2008) was an American novelist. He was born in San Diego, California, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and served in the Marines during World War II. Some of his mysteries were published under the pen names "O.M. Hall" and "Jason Manor." Hall received his Master of Fine Arts in English from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

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