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Big Picture

Write naked

It’s become a sitcom cliché: A shy guy is called upon to speak in public and is advised to imagine the audience naked. Of course, he winds up imagining himself naked on the podium. Hilarity ensues.
Personally, I’ve never understood the advice. Sure, there’s likely to be a few people in the audience I’d rather not [...]

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Big Picture

featuredimage Write naked

It’s become a sitcom cliché: A shy guy is called upon to speak in public and is advised to imagine the audience naked. Of course, he winds up imagining himself naked on the podium. Hilarity ensues.
Personally, I’ve never understood the advice. Sure, there’s likely to be a few people in the audience I’d rather not [...]

featuredimage 7 software programs and services for writing

Writers only need a pen, a piece of paper, and an idea. But, at least in my house, by the time you’ve found the pen and the paper, the idea has fled for warmer climes.  So here’s a look at a few somewhat-essential tools for the writer.
This list has two ideas behind it: 1.) Money [...]

featuredimage How do you keep your readers reading?

photo credit: Jayel Aheram
I’m going to fail you today.
I don’t have the answers. I’ve got some ideas. I’ve got techniques for making sure your readers make it all the way to your last sentence, but not the end-all, be-all. I’m hoping you can fill in the blanks.
Without further ado, here are 10 tricks you [...]

Style

Ellipsis - No, not the dots

An ellipsis is a figure of speech in which a word or words have been omitted, but are understood.

Writing Craft

Make your writing flow like a good album

I have maybe two or three albums that I can honestly say I like in their entirety. Most of the albums that I own have a few good songs, but there’s always that one song (or two, or seven) that gets skipped any time I hear its opening chords. Even with albums by artists that [...]

Grammar

Hyphenating adjectives

photo credit: bettyx1138
Adjectives are tricky little buggers. While usually limited to modifying nouns and pronouns, they sometimes modify other adjectives as part of compound adjectives. These compounds should be hyphenated when they appear before the noun or pronoun they modify, and unhyphenated when they appear after it. For example:
John is a second-rate dancer.
but
As a [...]

Fiction

Understanding Narrative Mode

Good storytelling deals as much with how a story is told as it does with what a story is. The dramatic moments and insight into the characters and their conflicts all come from information gathered about those characters. One of the easiest ways to build that drama is through an understanding of narrative voice. Each [...]