background preloader

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Today, writing well is more important than ever. Far from being the province of a select few as it was in Hemingway’s day, writing is a daily occupation for all of us — in email, on blogs, and through social media. It is also a primary means for documenting, communicating, and refining our ideas. So what can we do to improve our writing short of hanging ourselves? 1. Don’t just plan to write—write. 2. [The] Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around “getting ready,” the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

http://99u.com/tips/7082/25-Insights-on-Becoming-a-Better-Writer

Fifteen Writing Exercises Writing exercises are a great way to increase your writing skills and generate new ideas. They give you perspective and help you break free from old patterns and crutches. To grow as a writer, you need to sometimes write without the expectation of publication or worry about who will read your work. Don’t fear imperfection. That is what practice is for. Surviving 30 days of noveling Setting out to write a novel is a daunting task: you have to come up with characters, plots, settings, themes. And then there’s the ultimate obstacle of actually sitting down and writing it. Yet for the last several years, come every November 1st, thousands of people have not only given it a shot, they've tried to do it in a single month. That’s National Novel Writing Month in a crazy-sounding nutshell. The premise is simple enough: write 50,000 words of a novel between November 1st and November 30th. It doesn't have to be finished.

Creative Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet Rewriting and editing helps to tighten up your work. But it can be difficult – what to chop and when to stop may not be clear, and you may change your mind more than once during the process. Ask yourself whether you need to take out: Unnecessary information and explanation. (More) tips for writing well (Austin Govella at Thinking and Making) Published Wed, Jul 8, 2009 by Austin Govella. Updated Wed, Jul 8, 2009. As an editor, I’ve noticed several recurring bad habits you heathens would do well to disabuse yourselves of immediately. Almost without exception, these bad habits instantiate themselves as a series of stock phrases and constructions that reflect a lack of focus, a lack of fully developed argument, or the kind of intellectual laziness that sets in as you slog through your first draft.

Creative Writing Prompts Many creative writers use prompts to generate new material. Prompts can be challenges -- for example, write a story using only one syllable words or craft an alphabet story where the first sentence begins with the letter A, the next sentence B, and so on -- or themes provided by journals, or a poem to which an writer can respond. For example, the Sun lists prompts and deadlines every issue. To see responses, check out "Readers Write." For a list of up-to-date journal prompts, deadlines, and contest information, see the Writing Program's bulletin board in Jensen on the second floor.

English 50 Exercises for Story Writers English 50 – Intro to Creative Writing: Exercises for Story Writers Basic Theory: What is a short story? As soon as someone delivers a definition, some good writer will write a story that proves the theory wrong. Paper Writing Guidelines 1. A quick primer of some concrete guidelines for composition return to top Layout of a Good Paper The most important thing is to pick a thesis and stick to it. Read These Seven Books, and You’ll be a Better Writer Donald Miller I used to play golf but I wasn’t very good. I rented a DVD, though, that taught me a better way to swing, and after watching it a few times and spending an hour or so practicing, I knocked ten strokes off my game. I can’t believe how much time I wasted when a simple DVD saved me years of frustration. I’d say something similar is true in my writing career.

5 editor’s secrets to help you write like a pro I do a lot of copyediting, both of books and advertising collateral. I’ll let you in on a secret that still surprises me, although I’ve seen it hundreds of times now. If you looked at the raw work of most professional writers, you’d be pretty underwhelmed. Professional writers get work because they hit their deadlines, they stay on message, and they don’t throw too many tantrums. Some pros have a great writing voice or a superb style, but as often as not, that gets in the way. List of Interactive Quizzes The quizzes with a magenta marble are also listed within the section or digital handout to which they apply. The twenty-one quizzes with a green marble and designated "Practice" have been adapted from the instructor's manual and other ancillary materials accompanying Sentence Sense: A Writer's Guide. They are duplicated here with permission of the author, Evelyn Farbman, and the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Inc.

The chaos theory of evolution - life - 18 October 2010 Evolution is chaotic (Image: Yehrin Tong) 2 more images Forget finding the laws of evolution.

Related:  a.gagnon11iWriteMy bookTHINGS YOU SHOULD KNOWProductivitymikaylascottwritingImproving WritingAdvice/Helposhoreiki