15 November 2006

Rules for Writing

If you use adjectives in your prose, do not use nouns. If you use nouns, you must not use verbs. If you use verbs, try to avoid verbs that specify a particular city.

When specifying particular cities in fiction, do not use cities that have been specified in poems. Poems have so few things left of their own anymore that we should let them have their own cities.

When writing poems, use many different points of view. Poems without multiple points of view are too strident. Prose is allowed to be strident on certain political holidays, but poems that are strident tend to resemble over-ripe fruit, and nobody likes that.

Bad writing is usually caused by over-ripe fruit, but often enough there is too little rain during the season, and that isn't any good, either. More good writing is produced by rain than by drought.

Do not write about the thing that annoyed your brother the last time you wrote about it, because he's bigger than you and he's got a mean streak and there are plenty of other things to write about, like the weather.

If you write about the weather, use as many adjectives as you can, or else your nouns will wilt and become adverbs.

Some coaches insist adverbs are stronger than nouns, but an independent panel of statisticians has proved otherwise. Despite appearances, though, statisticians don't like nouns so much as they adore conjunctions.

If you use foreign phrases in your writing, be careful to use the correct pronunciation.

There are really only three plots: the queen cried because the city became a piece of over-ripe fruit; the king killed himself because the political holiday was ruined by the weather; and the thing that annoyed your brother caused him to hate nouns.

If you write a play, call it a poem, because otherwise everyone will assume it's a blog post, and trust me, you don't want that.