“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:
1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
And he will probably ask himself two more:
1. Could I put it more shortly?
2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in.
They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent --
and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.”
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved
so much as to be understood.”
― George Orwell, 1984
Include a beginning, middle and end.
Show, don't tell.
One word: Conflict.
Make your protagonist proactive, not reactive.
Have a central core to your story.
Know what your story is about.
It is better to be simple and clear than complicated and ambiguous.
Say as much as possible with as little as possible.
Don't write what anyone could.
Write as only you can:
"Her voice was the Taj Mahal by moonlight."
'To say goodbye is to die a little."
FINAL WORDS FROM
"I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven't been told a million times already – that writing is harder.
with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can
still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have.
The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings.
Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight.
If you do not do it, the story is a failure.
There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it . . . slightly,
so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace,
People are reflected in the glass.
The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself.
And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us.
Failing that, you have failed totally.
The trick is not becoming a writer.
The trick is staying a writer.
Now begin in the middle,
and later learn the beginning;
the end will take care of itself."