Gar’s Tips on Sucks-Less Writing. My pal Gareth Branwyn was and is a great mentor to me. When I started bOING bOING (the print zine) in the late 1980s, he helped me with my writing immensely. Now he has posted a wonderful tip sheet at Street Tech, called “Gar’s Tips on Sucks-Less Writing.” Thanks for sharing your secrets, Gar!
Throw out the First Waffle
One of the first things I noticed when I began getting my work published, was how often my introductory paragraphs were unceremoniously hacked into the trash by miserly editors. I once heard the phrase “throwing out the first waffle” used to describe divorce in a first marriage. I’ve come to think of these intro paragraphs as the first waffle(s) of writing. Writers, especially newbies, often waste this first graph (or two or three) setting up their subject, gobbling up precious column inches, awkwardly warming up to their subject. When you’re done with your initial draft, take a hard, dispassionate look at the first few graphs. See if you can slice ’em off. Be harsh.
A great collection of tips for writing for any medium. This particular tip hits way too close to home. When I was writing my first book, I had an editor who typically started reading my chapter drafts at the top of page three. That’s where I would finally get going. Today I’m getting closer to the first few grafs.[McGee’s Musings]