Don't repeat yourself. I repeat, don't repeat yourself.

by Alex Storer
(Erie, Pennsylvania, United States)

I highly agree with the above Tip #17, I used it even before I found this helpful list. Reading your work aloud really helps you determine what sounds right and what doesn't. Anyways, I have a bit of advice for aspiring writers like myself. When you're writing, don't repeat yourself. This is difficult to explain except by example:

DON'T-The river rushed through the clearing. The waters were crystal clear. The waves broke and reformed around the rocks.

Even though the above avoids repeating the same word over and over again, it is broken.

DO-The crystal clear waters of the river rushed through the clearing, breaking and reforming around the rocks.

In the above sentence we explain the same things, but it's all in one sentence, sounding a lot more direct and to the point. Also, metaphors are useful whenever possible to enrich your statement:

The crystal clear waters of the river rushed through the clearing, breaking and reforming around the rocks like noble stallions breaking along a wall of pikemen.

One last thing-although normally a good rule, the above Tip #9 sometimes does not apply, in my style at least. I'm currently writing a fantasy novel, and I find that long sentences and long, descriptive phrases help flesh out the setting.
Hope this helps others as this page has helped me,
Alex

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