Orson Welles, 1951.

We’ve had Kurt Vonnegut’s rules of writing and Stephen King’s. I want to share with you familiar advice by one of the greater creative minds of the 20th century. Welles’ talents did not stop at writing. He ended up directing and acting in many great film classics. Needless to say a man his talent could give some invaluable advice. And he did! In 1946 he released an essay called: ‘Politics and the English Language”. In this he defines 6 rules of writing. 6 rules he thinks writers should by. Give them a read.

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

– via Sander