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Seven Easy Rules for Beginning Writers
By Paul Krantz

I have heard of V.S. Naipaul. I haven't read anything by him..He is a big deal. He won the Nobel prize for literature and the Booker Prize. A very big deal. But his approach to writing is quiet, almost Zen-like. Here's the advice he gave to new writers at Tehelka, an Indian news organization:

1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.

2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.

3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words

More of Naipaul's advice >>

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