Writing Tools


A good writing is one that respects reader. During reading, only writer, reader, and other possible real/fictional characters are present, all indirectly interacting together. Arguing with an absent author is worth it only if he/she had committed minimal fallacies at the time of writing, providing readers with evidence for every data presented and support for his/her claims and opinions. Surprisingly the best writers do commit fallacies, and if they don't, they "over-write, under-write, digress or unnecessarily perplex their reader", which sadly turns readers away from true knowledge. It's frustrating for a reader to spend hours of their precious life searching for information in a book they have painstakingly selected by an author they trusted, to finally discover they wasted their time. No wonder many hate reading altogether.



1. Start with the outlines.

Make the skeleton you will flesh out later. Outlines are the most important part in writing, as they sum up IDEAS. Since content is naturally superior to form , a good writing is one that simply has "maximum useful ideas." Some plain "compact" writing styles only include outlines, usually used by and good for those who have less writing time or skills. Sometimes "bare" outlines are published as they are even by stylistically "professional" writers who simply stopped writing, or died (i.e. as posthumous notes).

Starting with the outlines is also common in composition questions/assignments, giving students guidelines to follow. Because of its simplicity, this technique can be best used and developed by computerized/machine/artificial-intelligence writing, for present and future purposes.

This stage should precede other stages in LARGE coherent works. It's esp. important in "long fiction," to know where one is going. Once you know your aspired Galatea, flesh it out gradually, as events speed up, tension mounts, and climax approaches.

2. Write first, edit later.

This is an alternative to starting with the outlines, or used simultaneously with. The speed of thinking is higher than that of writing, that many ideas are lost before we have time to record them. One should focus on freeing ideas first, to organize and filter later. This may, initially, but harmlessly, lead to recording everything crossing one's mind, including shallow, absurd, vague, irrelevant, or incomplete thoughts. Initially, release your most pressing emotions, confused thoughts, and vivid images. Spontaneous writing is usually more truthful, albeit chaotic. However, once filtered, only the unique, precise, valuable, enlightening thoughts remain.

Uninterrupted writing helps cover a subject from all perspectives, representing ideas as they are and as they actually exist in our brain "multi-dimensionally," not in one dimension as that of writing. It would've been better to have a snapshot of our brain, capturing the web of interconnected signals in its lobes. (Or have a 3D GLOBE of thoughts each clicked & followed freely, e.g. in one big flash file.) Since it's technologically early for that, we only stay close in our writing style.

3. Follow your heart.

For "minimum-effort" creative writing, one can simply "ride emotions" by getting into a certain mood or feeling, then try to write whatever comes to mind under the influence of such feeling: nostalgia, excitement, anger, etc. The deeper the feeling, the better the writing. A very physical feeling, e.g. hunger, lust, etc. will only make you restless, slow down your writing, and lower its quality.

Write about something you love, know well, or feel curious about, which makes you want to "imagine" it and see it vividly. Then follow what you see without interruption, with pleasure.

Choose topics you feel motivated to write about (else you'll have a "writer's block" and lose interest in writing). This can be NEW subjects you know less but want to learn more about, i.e. interesting: strange, controversial, shocking, depressing, etc. Or OLD subjects you want to record, elaborate on, explore further, or be professional/specialized at.

4. Be imaginative.

Free your imagination while writing down thoughts as fast as they come to you, as if you are only taking pictures, to be sorted out and edited later. Imagine and give a full description of what you see, as if you live there (in the story setting, with the characters, etc.).

Be maximally relaxed, almost "half-asleep" or half conscious, to activate the imagination center of your brain while deactivating the argumentative mode temporarily. Even ignore language choice, or verbal thinking altogether, to give space to visual thinking to work.

In painting for example, we look at what we paint with half-closed or nearly closed eyes, for better imagination and increasing the possibilities our reality keeps us from seeing. The same we do when looking at a low-resolution picture, plain-tasted food, etc.

5. Go fast.

When you write fast, you automatically imagine fast, and understand fast. However, this is stressful, but exciting, just like a real-time competition you must win, or a speech given before a large important audience. Still, the great sense of relief and achievement felt shortly afterwards balances such "creative tension."

It's better that your body and environment support your mind during the process of creation, by being relaxed, quiet, etc. However, don't get too physically obsessive about petty things, e.g. every outside sound, body movement, function, etc. So prepare for writing by, for example, having your fingernails clipped for fast typing, wrests in a comfortable position, eyes not strained by inadequate light/distance/font, etc.

6. Sort it out.

When you finally trim a work, don't be too sorry for the parts you have to omit. You can save them elsewhere for later use, to "recycle" for a different future work. You can divide a work into several works, or merge different works into one work: turning a short story into a novel or vice versa, an article into a book, etc.

Irrelevant parts can be added to other relevant works they belong to. Vague parts can be simplified, or else added to another purposely-vague work. Important short parts should be elaborated on, while unimportant long ones be shortened. However, when some flagrantly untrue or utterly shallow parts finally remain, remove them, with pleasure. Don't keep/publish needless stuff. Put yourself in readers' shoes (who could even be "you" in future time), by respecting reader's time, needs, and other resources they can get information from, other than you.



Introduction and conclusion are optional sometimes, but the body is essential.


A brain-storming start, a question, a famous saying, a stated fact, etc. This section should be very catchy, specific, and, possibly, containing an abstract of the whole work (without losing the reader's interest in the subsequent details and possible surprises).


This includes illustration, exemplification, applications ... of the main ideas, and thus, possibly, helpful lists/tables/graphs/punctuation/etc. You must cover your subject from all angles, that you almost leave nothing for readers to add, or purposely let them interactively share their own thoughts to feel more involved (leaving a space for readers to fill).

The body has different TYPES:

  • Cause and Effect: Explain the past, present and future of an idea/work; its origin/maker & application/pros and cons; etc.
  • Description: Describe a place, era, process, social people, etc.
  • Illustration: Elaborate on an abstract/difficult concept.
  • Exemplification: Give variations on one theme from different perspectives, in different settings, for better understanding. Try to address most readers, so that each can identify with what they read. It's OK that some readers will skip the examples they don't relate to.
  • Comparison: Compare options, conflicting/complementary, contrastive concepts, represented by antonymous words/phrases/paragraphs, etc.


Revisit parts in the introduction section. End up more generally and philosophically. Throw the ball in readers' court, to apply what they have read in real life.




They are indispensable to good writing:

  1. Quality. Tell the truth. To be maximally honest, write to yourself first, and "fully" empathize with readers.
  2. Quantity. Don't over-write, which could turn writing into a mere catharsis or thought-recording. Don't prolong articles or fatten up books for unworthy fame, money or ego-boosting.
  3. Relevance. This is where the moral or purpose of the work can be accentuated/lost by the author. Talk about the subject at hand only.
  4. Manner. Don't be vague. Vagueness mostly shows ignorance/recklessness about a subject (not "surreal" superiority as some think). However, it is intentionally used sometimes to send an indirect message, or to perplex readers and avoid the truth (maximum 1).


Logical coherence: be convincing, avoid fallacies, don't fool readers. Represent facts, problems arising between facts, possible/best solutions, and implementation of solutions (possible difficulties, stories and examples).


Use cohesive ties:

  • Repetition. It helps confirm/memorize/recall points. It's common in beginners/children books. Otherwise, it causes monotony and harms style.
  • Parallelism. This is better and safer than mere repetition, requiring extra skills: parallel meaning, syntax, or even rhythm and rhyme (in literary writings). Example: "He said he can't, although he could; he screamed and yelled, but no one heard; for a liar he was, until the end."
  • Ellipsis. It's common in minimalist writing, yet needs accuracy to avoid confusion. Example: "'They were good to shun, not to see or befriend,' the two imps knew they were."
  • Reference: anaphoric, cataphoric, exophoric references, e.g. pronouns (subject, object, possessive, relative, etc.). Example: "They arrived late. The newly-weds had an accident. 'It wasn't serious,' Her Majesty said."
  • Semantic Relations: synonyms, antonyms, hyponym, collocations, etc. Example: "There were many guests, from all walks of life: statesmen, doctors, peasants; poor and rich, rough and refined."


  • Embed stories , anecdotes, jokes ... for illustration. Use metaphors and figures (which are only minute fiction units). Use quotes, witticisms ... (which are minute articles, by someone else)
  • Use poetic effects: parallel and rhythmic structures.
  • Change register according to context:
    • Change dialect: historical, regional, social, and personal (idiolect).
    • Change degree of formality.


Be organized and specific. Don't make the whole work look like ONE big chunk of words, as some ancient scrolls' style used to, to save ink/sheepskin. Respect reader's time, and take into account readers who skim-read, scan-read, close-read (read critically), read for an urgent cause, read for pleasure, etc.

  • Use lists, bullets, tables, trees, cluster examples ... for organization.
  • Use pictures, graphs, and multimedia when needed.
  • Use capitalization, italics, underlining, bold type, headings, large font ...


Writing Advantages and Disadvantages