1984 . . . or George Orwell’s 6 Rules of Writing

Adron J. Smitley
2 min readApr 4, 2021

I post a new blog the first Saturday of every month, but I’ve been so busy writing on my latest novel that time flew right by as time often does while I’m amid the sweaty wrestle with my writing and I missed this last one by some few hours and now it’s Sunday and I want to get back to writing so I’ll make this short and sweet.

Eric Arthur Blair, known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic best known for writing the controversial novel 1984.

Orwell wrote 1984 just after World War Two ended, wanting it to serve as a warning to his readers. He wanted to be certain that the kind of future presented in the novel should never come to pass, even though the practices that contribute to the development of such a state were abundantly present in Orwell’s time.

Orwell’s 1984 has repeatedly been banned and challenged in the past for its social and political themes, as well for sexual content.

1984 has also led to the Orwellian Theory. “Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, disinformation, denial of truth (doublethink), and manipulation of the past, including the “unperson” . . . a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments.

I’m sure this rings a few bells in your head considering our current political climate.

Obviously George Orwell’s writing has made a lasting impact upon the world, so why not go over his 6 rules of writing and see if we can learn something to apply to our own, shall we?

George Orwell’s 6 Rules of Writing:

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.


How to make plotting your novel as easy as Punching Babies! Amazon: $2.99 digital, $4.99 paperback, or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!



Adron J. Smitley

Blog for writers on everything plot, character, and story structure architecture at: adronjsmitley.blogspot.com