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Category Archives: Good advice from here and there
“Writing is a skill, not a talent, and this difference is important because a skill can be improved by practice.” –Robert Stacy McCain, The Other McCain
Author John Scalzi recently ran across something he wrote back in 1997 upon finishing his first novel: [L]ike most things on the planet, thinking about doing it is a lot worse than simply sitting down and doing it. The writing … Continue reading
Copywriter Nick Usborn says that the fundamental advice given to speakers applies to writers: Look your audience in the eye. So far, as I sit here writing, I’m looking you in the eye. Hopefully, you can hear my voice through … Continue reading
What does it take to be a successful writer? A few different things, but there’s one thing that we often overlook: persistence. I’m guilty of wishing for shortcuts, or hoping for a lucky break. (I’ve given up on “overnight success; … Continue reading
I’m betting that much of what you write ends up in email messages, or on the web. If that’s the case, Jakob Nielsen has some advice for you, based on his studies of how people read email and web pages.
Ken Davis, on his Manage Your Writing blog, has a nice quote by writer Larry Gelbart that ties in nicely to my “First drafts are crap” post:
Courtesy of Ray Ward, here’s one more thing you can do to improve your writing: If you’re a multi-tasker, here’s something you can do to improve your writing: Stop multi-tasking, and instead focus. Good advice.
Richard Nordquist has collected a Top Ten list of Mark Twain’s writing tips. My favorites: Use the right word, not its second cousin. And: Use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it … Continue reading
At the science fiction site io9, Charlie Jane Anders has a long post about the dangers of the adverb. Aspiring science-fiction authors receive one piece of advice above all others: Forsake the adverb, the killer of prose. It’s terribly, awfully, … Continue reading