Olden Writing Tips

There are a host of books to read and sites to peruse for those that want solid writing advice.

I’ve read/watched more than I care to count this semester alone. Each of them contains well-developed and interesting ideas that can help with all manner of writing. Not only this, but they can be a good place to turn to for inspiration.

So, of course, I’m ignoring all that and going on the hunt for the worst writing tips I can find. And, as seems to be the case all the time, the worst of the worst can be found in the past.

In this particular case, I found an article for Writers Digest where they dig up some true intellectual nuggets from decades past. Therein we find such timeless gems as,

Avoid unnecessary profanity. Avoid use of the name God in a profane or semi-profane or even in a facetious manner. Drinking scenes should be cut down to the minimum. Especially is it necessary to avoid having the hero of a story indulge in much drinking.

The numerous “tips” provided have the impact of a grandparent desperate to set the children on the proper path. It is a collection of prompts that make one wonder if writing was ever officially respected before the eighties.

In all seriousness though, it is a fascinating read, if only for the context it provides. It’s easy to say that writing has changed greatly over the years, but it’s never more clear than when reading up on the creative process of peoples past. It adds a new depth to the readings we’ve had to do for school, and can help put what you’re doing in perspective. It could even be useful for writing a period piece. 

Or, it’ll just be good for a quick chuckle. Either way, it’s worth a read. Check out the full article here.