How to write like George Orwell


I’m always interested in reading advice on writing from famous writers and journalists. Here is some advice from George Orwell – English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.

Did you know that George Orwell was his pen-name? His real name is Eric Arthur Blair.

Here are his rules:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

And here is the article on Lifehack elaborating on these rules. Another article from Lifehack has some similar advice.

Read more about George Orwell on Wikipedia.

Better still, why not read one of his books – Nineteen Eight Four, Animal Farm or Homage to Catalonia? Many of his works are available on Project Gutenberg Australia.

Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

One thought on “How to write like George Orwell”

  1. Orwell is often said to be a satirist in the tradition of Jonathan Swift. Swift read
    “Gulliver’s Travels” to a not-well-educated servant, to make sure that all the
    language in it was easily understandable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s