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(More) tips for writing well (Austin Govella at Thinking and Making)

(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. These things happen, That’s ok. Editing helps you save yourselves from these offenses before your thoughts hit the world and everyone knows your dirty secrets. but you can edit yourself, and you should. 16 things to check when you edit Be vicious when you edit. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. After you edit… The finished piece should be so tight, terse, concise, and clear that it’s boring. Boring. Then sand off the rough edges. Write like you talk.

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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. C. S. Lewis on Writing Considering he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, one of the most popular collections of children's literature of all time, it's no real surprise that C. S. Lewis received thousands of letters from youngsters during his career. What's admirable is that he attempted to reply to each and every one of those pieces of fan mail, and not just with a generic, impersonal line or two. The fantastic letter seen below is a perfect example. It was sent by Lewis to a young American fan named Joan Lancaster in June of 1956 — just a few months before the seventh and final book of the series, The Last Battle, was published — and is actually an invaluable, generous response filled with practical writing advice, all of which still rings true.

50 Lists to Write to Lift Your Spirits As a structural thinker, I love to make lists. Getting everything out of my head and down on paper in an orderly fashion puts me at ease. Rather than grocery lists and to-do lists, try some of these. They’re sort of an inventory of your life and all the good things in it. If your brain is more creative, your lists can be graphical or in the form of a mind map – whatever speaks to you.

#54 – Writing Hacks, Part 1: Starting By Scott Berkun, Aug. 28 2006 (#54) Writing is easy, it’s quality that’s hard. Any idiot who knows 5 words can write a sentence (e.g. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes.

Spice Up Your Writing With Dialogue by Judy Cullins Does your chapter sound like a report? Does it go on and on with past tense sentences that tell, rather than show? To spice up your self help, non-fiction or fiction book and even promotional writing, you need to use much more dialogue. Why? Because dialogue presents your story through your characters' hearts and minds. How to write a book – the short honest truth Every author I know gets asked the same question: How do you write a book? It’s a simple question, but it causes unexpected problems. On the one hand, it’s nice to have people interested in something I do. If I told people I fixed toasters for a living, I doubt I’d get many inquires. Manuscript Format for Novels by Glen C. Strathy The manuscript format used in publishing has evolved a little over time as technology has changed, and if you grew up with word processors, it may seem rather quaint, old-fashioned, and downright boring to look at. Word processors come with many desktop publishing capabilities that are so tempting to use.

George Orwell’s 5 Rules for Effective Writing In our society, the study of language and literature is the domain of poets, novelists, and literary critics. Language is considered a decorative art, fit for entertainment and culture, but practically useless in comparison to the concrete sciences. Just look at the value of a college degree in English versus one in computer science or accounting. But is this an accurate assessment of value? Language is the primary conductor between your brain and the minds of your audience. Characterisation How to write convincing characters Characterisation - the task of building characters - isn't easy. But if you're struggling to build characters with real life and vigour, here is our very own patented technique. If you haven't yet started your book, then work on the exercise below before you start. If you have started, but think that maybe you started prematurely, then back up, do the exercise and then look back over your existing work.

Character Chart for Fiction Writers - EpiGuide.com If you're a fiction writer -- whether you're working on a novel, short story, screenplay, television series, play, web series, webserial, or blog-based fiction -- your characters should come alive for your reader or audience. The highly detailed chart below will help writers develop fictional characters who are believable, captivating, and unique. Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in new ways, rather than constrain your writing. Fill in only as much info as you choose. Have fun getting to know your character! Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and Adventures » Daily Encounter This list is far from complete. It’s not even trying to be complete. It knows better than that. It just wants to be helpful and provide some inspiration here and there; you know, offer little suggestions that might lead to bigger ideas. (Especially by using the words offered as Wikipedia searches!) Feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

Five most effective ways to get over writers block - by Conny Manero Conny Manero's image for: "Five most Effective Ways to get over Writers Block" Caption: Location: Image by: 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life (and Make Yourself Happier) I’ve been striving to simplify my life for many years now, and have recently (through my writing) been advising others how to do the same. In the process, I’ve learned that making little changes in our attitudes, habits, and environment can have a big impact. So today, I thought I’d compile a list of 100 ways to simplify your life – from the practical to the philosophical, and everything in between. Of course, not every item on the list will work for every person reading it.

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