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Tag Archives: writing
I’m an editor. I get a manuscript, dissertation, or textbook and I dig into the words to root out fluff and transplant content from areas where its meaning is obscured in shadow to places where the light hits it more … Continue reading
Doubt feels awful, even when it’s just a minor, nagging little thought in the back of your mind. After all, what if you really did leave the stove on and burn down the house while you were at work? Even small doubts can have dire consequences if they are justified. The problem is, many of them aren’t justified, but it’s not always easy to know when you should invite doubt in for tea and when to shut the door on it. However, if you’re going to be a writer, you need to make friends with your doubt. Continue reading
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
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
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
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