DONALD M. MURRAY’s WRITING TIPS
1. Don’t know what you are going to say before you say it. Writing should always be a voyage of discovery.
2. Do not write chronologically. Pick the most important moments of your life and write them in detail.
3. Listen to your voice — the most important element in writing. If you can’t hear rather than see what you are writing, turn off the monitor on your computer as you write the first draft; on the first draft, learn to use a dictating program so you can speak to your computer, use a recording machine.
4. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, mechanics on the first draft. Once you discover what you have to say, it is time to edit your copy.
5. After you have a collection of significant incidents, keep rearranging them as you would small tiles to create a mosaic of meaning and beauty.
6. Each revision of these incidents will carry you deeper into the experience. You will see significance where you haven't before.
7. Be honest. When you write, you may find what you do not expect. Treasure the surprises.
8. Write with verbs and nouns. Do not weaken them with excess adverbs and adjectives.
9. Reveal the experience. Don't instruct the reader how to react, what to feel, what to think. You have given them a gift. It’s their business, not yours, how they respond.
10. Don’t show anyone any drafts until you complete a final draft. Each reader will want you to write his or her story, not your own.