I love this little snippet posted by another blogger:

“Successful writers are masters of the art of trickery. They use secret words and incantations to summon the elusive muse.

“Legions of Writing Fairies whisper best-selling ideas as agents line up around the block begging for the chance to represent them.”

Masters of the art of trickery?

If that means finally creating a manuscript worthy of consideration by tricking the written word into submission after years of being fooled by ones own cleverness, then yes.

The secret words?

Ah….  How did we ever write without the secret words?

– The biggest faults to most stories, and especially short stories, are language and redundant sentences.

– Most people tend to write the way they speak, which can come off as stilted on the page. Simplifying the language, the way you would for a business letter, is a good way of resolving this issue.

– Do Not be terse, just clear. Fewer words, shorter words, but not sentence fragments are the key.

– Remember to complete the thought.  If you look carefully at the preceding sentence, you’ll generally find that the two make a complete thought, if you edit them carefully.

– Remember to trust the reader’s intelligence. Any sentences that bluntly tell what you’ve already shown have to be cut.

– Adverbs are anathema to good writing.

As to the Legions of Writing Faeries, I believe they’ve been on strike since 1962.

Oh! And about those agents lining up at your door?

Unless you’re rich or a best selling author, they’re probably from collection agencies.