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David Foster Wallace on Why You Should Use a Dictionary, How to Write a Great Opener, and the Measure of Good Writing. By Maria Popova “Readers who want to become writers should read with a dictionary at hand,” Harvard psycholinguist Steven Pinker asserted in his indispensable guide to the art-science of beautiful writing, adding that writers who are “too lazy to crack open a dictionary” are “incurious about the logic and history of the English language” and doom themselves to having “a tin ear for its nuances of meaning and emphasis.” But the most ardent case for using a dictionary came more than a decade earlier from none other than David Foster Wallace. 4 Lies Writers Believe. Don’t Make These 4 Common Short Story Mistakes.

5 Ways to Develop a Book Idea. Having an idea and developing that idea into a marketable, publishable book are two different things.

5 Ways to Develop a Book Idea

I learned this early in the process when trying to decide what kind of book I wanted to write. To win one of the five autographed copies of OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL, simply leave a comment on this post or any of the posts related to the “How I Got OH BOY Published” series. I will pick five random winners throughout the month of June. (Winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. Please note that comments may take a little while to appear on the site; this is normal. Guest Blog: K.M. Weiland Shares 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write. 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write By K.M.

Guest Blog: K.M. Weiland Shares 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write

Weiland. The Writer's Technique in Thirteen Theses: Walter Benjamin's Timeless Advice on Writing. 13 Vital Reminders For Writers. Writing is tough work.

13 Vital Reminders For Writers

If I may be so bold as to attempt a simile, I’d say that it’s like walking through a dark forest, but with your legs tied together. So in actuality you’re not really walking at all. 13 Writing Tips. Twenty years ago, a friend and I walked around downtown Portland at Christmas.

13 Writing Tips

The big department stores: Meier and Frank… Fredrick and Nelson… Nordstroms… their big display windows each held a simple, pretty scene: a mannequin wearing clothes or a perfume bottle sitting in fake snow. But the windows at the J.J. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do. [Originally published April 10, 2012.]

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.

Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about. Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts.

The blank white page. Writing Tips: The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing. In a thought-provoking, writing tips based ThrillerFest panel provided by WD managing editor Zachary Petit, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft.

Writing Tips: The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing

Here are seven of their offerings. Have you committed any of them? 1. Laziness (David Hewson, author of the Nic Costa series) Intellectual laziness is something all writers are prone to: as in writing the same type of book, and doing it annually. Essential Writing Advice for Beginners: An Interview With Kerri Majors. Kerri Majors is the editor and founder of YARN, the Young Adult Review Network, an online literary journal of YA short stories, essays, and poetry.

Essential Writing Advice for Beginners: An Interview With Kerri Majors

As if this role doesn’t keep her busy enough, she is also the author of This Is Not a Writing Manual, a refreshing and candid memoir geared toward young writers. In it, she shares her own trials-by-fire, successes, disappointments, and thoughts on the writing life. This is the perfect book to share with the young writer in your life, and there are plenty of pearls of wisdom and inspiration for writers of all ages, beginners and veterans alike. I sat down with Kerri to chat about what it means to be a writer, what makes for stand-out, top-notch fiction, and the writing mistakes she sees in her role as a fiction editor. —by Rachel Randall, Managing Editor of Writer’s Digest Books. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do. 10 Tips for Writing. 1.

10 Tips for Writing

Don’t write linearly: Don’t set out to write something from beginning to end. A story is meant to be read from front to back, but not necessarily created that way. If you have an idea for writing the sixth chapter first, then start there. The epilogue can even be the first thing you put down on paper, then work your way back. Scattered chapters will eventually be filled in, and it will force you to look at the story from different angles, which may present different ideas or new approaches.