Here are a few suggestions to help you write like a writer.

1. Read great books, but also read bad books that will show you how Not to Write!

2. Write about what you know and where you lived and what you did in life. You have a ‘feel’ for that and it will come through in your writing.

3. Write about people and incidents you know. Use the correct names and places to keep it real. Later you can change the names and locations and call it fiction.

4. If you get hung up trying to remember a fact or piece of history, just leave it and move on and get ’something’ written. You can drown doing research. It’s easy. Writing it hard.

5. Write everyday, even if it is only a few lines. Hemingway, they say, wrote only 50 words a day and then went fishing. (Actually I think he wrote many more words everyday, but that story sounds good, so I always tell it.)

6. Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs, is how E.B. White suggested. When Gertrude Stein was editing Hemingway in Paris she would cut out all the adverbs and adjectives in his prose. It worked for Ernie. Try it.

7. When you think you have finished writing, read it out loud. If it reads awkwardly, or bores you, start over.

8. When you are finally ‘done’ with a piece of work, put it  away for awhile and then come back to it and read it again.

9. Edit. Go through your prose and cut out one line on every page. Next, go through your prose and cut out: so, just, very, perhaps, all.

10. Finally, join a writing group. Get people to read what you have written and tell you honestly what they think. People are, don’t forget, who you are writing for.

(Yes, I know I am ending the sentence with a preposition. As Churchill said, (accourding to the American Heritage Book of English Usage)

This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”