The Write Blog

01 Apr 2008

PACK MORE PUNCH INTO YOUR PROOFREADING

I find that most writers approach proofreading as a dreaded afterthought. Once they finish the actual writing, the idea of poring over their copy one last time to discover tiny errors seems…loathsome. Trust me, proofreading is infinitely important. Nothing looks sloppier than using “your” when you should have used “you’re.” Or misspelling the name of […]

30 Mar 2008

GETTING SITUATED: CREATING YOUR IDEAL WORK PATTERN

Hemingway made sure he wrote no less than 500 words a day, every day.  Faulkner always drank whiskey when he wrote, while Balzac is known to have sometimes consumed more than ten cups of espresso per day while he was working.  Thomas Wolfe allegedly preferred to write while standing up.  Getting sloshed while working will […]

28 Mar 2008

SHOW, DON’T TELL: AVOIDING THE ‘INFORMATION DUMP’ IN FICTION

The key to good fiction is giving your readers a reason to keep going — little mysteries and mini-conflicts that add suspense and create tension. After all, if you feel like you know everything about a character in the first few pages, is there any real reason to waste time finding out what will happen […]

28 Mar 2008

THREE WRITING PROMPTS TO GET YOUR FINGERS FLYING

Even the world’s greatest musicians practice daily and spend time warming up before performances.  As a writer, you, too, need to work your creative muscles with some exercises designed to challenge your creativity, stretch your limits, and rev your writing engine. Spend no more than ten minutes on each of these prompts.  Set an alarm […]

27 Mar 2008

PREVENT PROCRASTINATION: HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE WITHOUT WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE

Writers are known procrastinators. Whether we’re afraid our ideas won’t be good enough, or we’re waiting for inspiration to strike, we tend to set ourselves up for stress by waiting until the last-possible minute to begin serious work on our projects. But it is possible to break away from this pattern. Whether you have an […]

27 Mar 2008

REDUNDANT AND REPETITIVE

There is a lot to be said of brevity. Shakespeare wrote somewhat ironically through the mouthpiece of the long-winded Polonius in Hamlet that “brevity is the soul of wit.” And William Strunk reminds us in Elements of Style that “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason […]

26 Mar 2008

SILENCING THE “EDITOR WITHIN”

One of the most difficult parts of writing – even if you write all day, every day – is learning to ignore your internal editor when you’re working on a first draft. Even now, as I start writing, I can hear the nagging voice of doubt that makes it difficult to put words on paper. […]

25 Mar 2008

IN OTHER WORDS . . .

When you work with words every day, it’s not always easy to keep your vocabulary fresh. I’m a word junkie. I’d like to think that I’m a formidable Scrabble opponent. I even have one of those dorky word-a-day calendars on my desk. But, like any other writer, I occasionally slip into a word choice wasteland […]

24 Mar 2008

“IRREGARDLESS” IS NOT A WORD

Sometimes when trying to achieve a fun, casual tone in writing, especially important in many marketing and sales projects, it’s usually best to write the same way we talk, right? Wrong. Our speech is riddled with poor grammar and misused words because we don’t have the advantage of editing our words as we speak (but […]

19 Mar 2008

THE ART OF ASKING QUESTIONS

After completing my first feature-length article, I received a mini-lesson on the art of asking questions in your writing to keep the reader’s interest. In order to be effective and engaging, each paragraph should begin and end with a question – not literally, of course – a sort of literary catapult that moves the reader, […]

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