» New York Times 50 Most Challenging Words (defined and used) The New York Times recently published a list of 50 fancy words that most frequently stump their readership. They are able to measure this data thanks to a nifty in-page lookup mechanism, which you can try here. Try double-clicking the word “epicenter”. Since the NYT didn’t include definitions of these words, I decided to post a job to MediaPiston to produce an article defining and using each word in the list. Voila! The New York Times 50 Fancy Words (defined and used) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.
45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' Three Telling Quotes About ‘Very’ Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen. ~Florence KingSo avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. If you enjoyed this, you will love: If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course. by Amanda Patterson © Amanda Patterson
The Freelancers Guide to Staying Organized This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia! I’ve always been a pretty organized person. Sometimes I even dance the fine line between organized vs. obsessive — to the point where I can’t sleep if my room isn’t clean, or I generally feel as if my world is crashing down around me if there’s clutter in my apartment. But even with my books that are laden with colored tabs and notes, my color-coordinated closet (with matching wooden hangers), and a paper filing system that works with both color and the alphabet, I still had much to learn about being organized when I made the change to the freelance life. For years I told myself (and others) that I could never work for myself. Being your own boss comes with many freedoms. As I continue on my journey, from blogger, to freelancer, to new business owner and now working with Free People over here in Australia, here are a few of my tricks of the trade to stay organized: Share
Synonyms for 95 Commonly Used Words - A Mini-Thesaurus for Writers Synonyms for 95 Commonly Used Words in the English language Source for Comic Source for Synonyms Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. How to Find Unique Names for Your Characters Steps Method 1 of 2: Finding Your Own Unique Names 1Use a first name as a last name. Since first and last names usually sound very different, breaking this tradition would make your character stand ever so slightly apart. 8Look up names. Method 2 of 2: Starting with a Letter (or Letters) You Like 1List letters that you must/want to have in the name. 4Add a few more letters. Tips Don't make too many different or strangely spelled names or your readers could end up confused and have less motivation to finish the story.Make sure it's pronounceable. Ad Warnings Don't name your character after somebody who's already been invented, particularly if they have a similar personality.
How to Get Organized for the New Semester The year 2015 is here, and for most of you, this month marks the beginning of a brand new semester of college! Whether it’s the last semester of your senior year, the second semester of your freshman year, or anywhere in-between, getting (and staying) organized is extremely important and helpful. For some of you, organization may come naturally and feel like second nature. I, for one, am practically obsessed with putting and keeping things in their place (I even have a Pinterest board devoted to organization titled “Therapy”; I may, in fact, be insane). As a recent college graduate, I’ve definitely done my fair share of experimenting with different techniques for staying put-together over the years, and I hope that the following tips and tricks help you have a more successful, organized, and stress-free semester! 1. Product Info: Spiral Notebooks – Mead (Five Star) 2. Product Info: 1. 3. Product Info: 1. 4. Product Info: 1. What do you think? How do you stay organized during the semester?
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules for Writing Elmore Leonard — author of Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch — died today. What was it about his suspense thrillers that made them both popular AND critically acclaimed? Maybe his own writing rules will provide the answer. 10 things you should watch out for in your writing, according to Elmore Leonard 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. And his most important rule, to sum up all the others: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” What do you think of those rules?
Bad Creative Writing Advice (David Louis Edelman) March 18, 2006 @ 11:40 am The Internet is full of bad advice for creative writers. Here’s just a small sampling of the nonsense you can find if you look for it. “Show, don’t tell.” News flash: writing is telling. It’s a completely linguistic art form. The ironic thing about most of these specious writing tips is that they work quite well for straightforward journalism. But when you’re writing fiction, the ground rules are different. The same probably goes for bloggers, too.
Writing No-Nos: Would Your Professor Really Want to Read That? Since before anyone can really remember, writing has been prevalent. Humans rely on writing. Webster defines “writing” as, ”the way that you use written words to express your ideas or opinions.” Have you read a paper that started off like that–or, have you written one like that? Chances are good, especially if you haven’t had the opportunity to take an introductory writing course in college. Unfortunately, the introduction above includes virtually nothing a professor wants to see. How do I know? Using qualifiers like “very”: use stronger words and avoid using “very.” In addition to the list above, there is also a list of specific phrases your professor doesn’t want to see, you can check those out here. Was this helpful?
23 Writing Websites to Improve Your Writing We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~Ernest Hemingway How strong is your writing? No matter how good you think it is, there’s always room for improvement. In most cases, plenty of room. Luckily, there are some amazing websites that’ll help you improve your writing, and take it to the next level. (***By the way, have you seen this amazing online creative writing course, “Story Is a State of Mind,” created by Giller finalist Sarah Selecky? Want to strengthen your story, empower your performance, and beef up on the publishing business? Here are 23 sites (in no particular order) I look to for daily inspiration and advice: PS If you find this list useful, please share it on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon – I’d really appreciate it! 4) Query Shark A query critique site you don’t want to miss. 5) Men with Pens Fantastic articles on copywriting and freelancing. 6) Ask Allison Writing and publishing Q&A by novelist Allison Winn Scotch.
Brain a 'creativity machine,' if you use it right Scientists have long wanted to understand exactly how our brain allows us to be creative. Although there is still a lot left to learn, one thing has become clear in recent years: Creativity doesn't live in one spot. There are sites in the brain dedicated to recognizing faces, moving your left index finger and recoiling from a snake, but having original ideas is a process not a place. "There is a very high level of cooperation between different parts, different systems of the brain so that they orchestrate this process," said Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Damasio is leading a panel today on creativity and the brain to launch the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in San Diego. There are differences, of course, between creating a painting and creating a new business strategy, writing a symphony or coming up with new ways to comfort a distraught child. Yet imagination depends on memory.
Environmental Science | EnvironmentalScience.org 3 Steps to Writing a Novel with Unforgettable Characters Character development is one of the first essential steps of writing a novel and it involves creating the people who will carry out your story. There will most likely be a variety of characters needed for your story, but none as important as your lead character – your protagonist. A well-developed protagonist has much to do with the success of writing a novel. When writing a novel, the protagonist should be someone that your readers feel is a “real person” that they come to love (or at least like a whole lot), can relate to in many ways, and will care about and think about long after they’ve turned the final page on your novel. How to Create “Real People” for Your Novel When writing a novel, there are many ways to go about creating characters and much has been written about it in “how to write a novel books”, sometimes in great detail. Writing a Novel – Four Attributes of a Lead Character: 1. 2. 3. 4. Writing a Novel – Three Attributes Every Character Has: 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3.
» 5 Creative Cures for Writer's Block - World of Psychology It’s stressful when the words don’t come, when you’re sitting at your desk staring at the blinking cursor or the barren page. Minutes feel like hours. Hours feel like days. Deadlines loom, and you’re still stuck and staring. “Writer’s block, or any creative block, is really about fear,” according to Miranda Hersey, a writer, editor and creativity coach. Blocks are tough. 1. “Take the pressure off of your writing while you do something else that pleases you creatively,” Hersey said. Choreograph a one-minute dance. 2. If you’re writing fiction and you’re unsure about your direction, write some backstory for one of your characters, said Hersey, who also pens the blog Studio Mothers, a creative community for mothers. “Allow yourself to write 30 pages of something that might or might not show up in your finished work. 3. “Writer’s block is not a problem for me, ever. These are exercise prompts from Abercrombie’s book. “Write about how the weather feels on your skin. 4. 5.