Roxanne’s 10 Rules of Writing

From Teachapaloooza14 at The Poynter Institute:

  1. 95 percent of writing is thinking.
  2. Make the first 6-8 words count
  3. Eliminate marshmallow words; “there is”; very. Switch from honey boo boo writing to World Cup writing.
  4. Beware of the curse of knowledge; eliminate assumptions of what people may know about your story.
  5. If it sounds wrong and it looks wrong, it probably is – change it.
  6. Don’t be a creepy date;  if something isn’t working, let it go.
  7. Verbs are your BFFs; informs readers about your characters.
  8. “Things” belong in horror movies.
  9. Love your grandmother; you can’t love anything else.
  10. Punctuation is not about feelings; understand where they belong; you’re allowed one exclamation point in your life.

About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at He also edits part-time for with the NFL and college football network.
This entry was posted in Teachapalooza14, Teaching, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Roxanne’s 10 Rules of Writing

  1. DrBarb says:

    Reblogged this on Mobile Journalism Today and commented:
    Steve Fox did a useful summary of his time at Teachapalooza at Poynter. My colleague Curtis Lawrence was there.

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