Category Archives: Writing and Editing

Rules, Shmules?

People like to talk about rules. Rules are supposed to make things clear and easy, and knowing the rules makes you look smart. But are there really rules of writing? Continue reading

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Don’t Look Down

In many disciplines, if you follow a specific set of instructions, then you should get the intended outcome, whatever that may be. But following rules does not significantly improve art, except incidentally. Art is not art merely because it has technical merit. In fact, some of the best art busts all the rules and gets away with it. If Tom Thompson or Vincent van Gogh had decided to do what a good painter is “supposed” to do, we might never have known their names. Continue reading

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Just To Be Clear …

A few years ago, I discovered an interesting segue in an article by philosopher George N. Schlesinger. While relating moral integrity to the selection of articles for academic journals, he recites journal editor J. Scott Armstrong’s “author’s formula” for publishing … Continue reading

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Editor Dearest

We all want to believe that our written work is flawless, but being a good writer doesn’t mean producing perfect first drafts — it means carefully revising your work, sometimes sweating and grunting through multiple drafts until your writing is clear, descriptive, logically organized, and has the appropriate tone for your audience. Continue reading

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Bedevilled by Details Part II: Beware of Overshare

Details are wonderful. They enliven your story, create characters that seem uncannily real, and generally make your fictional world go ’round. You can never have too many details … right? Continue reading

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Bedevilled by Details Part I: Keeping It Straight

If your details are inconsistent, your story will lose credibility and your readers will start to lose interest. Additionally, it will take longer for your editor to help you find and clean up those details, so if you are paying for editorial services out of your own pocket, this may increase the costs to you. Continue reading

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