Writing Orwellian prose

For my 50th post I thought I’d take a look back at the past 5 or so months at what I’ve thrown out into the world for your enjoyment. I was going to share the most popular post to date, but instead I’ve decided to share my personal favourite—the one that’s helped me the most in researching and writing it. So here it is, my guide to writing Orwellian prose.

Thank you to everyone who’s so far subscribed to this blog. It means a hell of a lot. In the months to come I’ll be looking to giveaway more free content and of course keep the articles coming. Here’s to the next 50!

Richie Billing

For more writing tips and discussions on the fantasy genre, why not sign up to my mailing list? When you do, you’ll receive a free eBook on the craft of creative writing, featuring guides to world-building, writing fight scenes, plotting, viewpoint, editing, prose, and much, much more.


Two styles of prose tend to dominate: clear, concise prose, referred to as ‘Orwellian’, or the ‘clear pane of glass’, and; florid, literary prose, referred to as the ‘stained glass window’. First we’ll have a look at each, before going on to discuss how you can achieve them.

Orwellian prose

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George Orwell in his essay, Politics and the English Language, set out what he thinks good prose ought to consist of, all the while attacking the political system for the destruction of good writing practices. He was very much against the over-complication of language, which at the time (1946), was the direction…

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