Write Out Loud


“Any time your text is awkward or confusing, or any time you have to pause or reread your text, revise this section. If it is at all awkward for you, you can bet it will be awkward for your reader.” –from Purdue Online Writing Lab

15639 7404-Parsley Studio-sxc-huThe easiest self-editing tip I can give any writer is this: read everything you write aloud. It’s a fantastic way to figure out if what you’ve written stumbles or is unclear. This excruciatingly simple technique quickly helps identify run-on sentences, tense issues, changes in points of view, and is especially telling when it comes to crafting dialogue.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 23:32

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Write Every Day (Even If It's Fifteen Minutes)

“To be a writer is to sit down at one’s desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone—just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over...”

–John Hersey

Becoming a writer is about routine and commitment, commitment and routine. No matter what the genre, a writer must have discipline, so don’t let a single day go by without writing. It’s the same as being an athlete, it takes daily practice—it’s work—if you want to be good.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 09:55

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Books Are for Writing

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” –Stephen King

     I like to say books are for writing, not reading, but that’s a half-truth. The key to good writing is good reading. In fact, one of my favorite questions to ask and be asked is: What book is on your nightstand? I also like: What are your favorite books of all time? Who’s your favorite author? If you could have drinks with any author, living or dead, who would it be? For me, the list is constantly changing. What I read in my twenties (I was a huge fan of the Beatniks, especially William S. Burroughs) is vastly different to what I gravitated towards in my thirties (I’ve an ongoing addiction to memoirs). Now that I’m beginning to feel my way around forty-something I’m drawn to the classics.

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Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2012 08:54

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What It Means to Have Style

Aiyaz Kidwai-338205_4660sxc-Pressque-Blog-What_It_Means_to_Have_Style“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” –Kurt Vonnegut

When it comes to an author’s writing, style can only mean one of two things—one can be learned; the other, which is far more elusive, must be honed. And really, so we’re clear: it’s the latter that’s also tricky, fleeting, and artful; it’s the latter that’s about taking chances and creating narrative prose that has a life of its own.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 10:01

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