How Much Do you Really Need to Say?

Write a paragraph about something you did today. Make it at least 4 sentences. Now take out the first sentence and the last sentence. How necessary is the middle? Do those sentences say enough to stand on their own? Think about the construction of the paragraph. Why you chose to put one sentence first, then … Read more

Focus and Angles

Being a writer is about using focus and angles. You keep your focus but you use up all the angles you can find. For instance, take a topic like Christmas. How over done is that? Could you find something new to say about Christmas (a new angle) without forgetting who you are writing for and … Read more

Short for Impact

The best quotes are those that dazzle and enlighten with one sentence. That quick one two punch that leaves you thinking. Quotes wandering along into two, three or more sentences loose their power. You have to read them and think as you’re reading. It spoils the effect. Condensing your sentences, your whole essay, story, whatever … Read more

Spelling Style

Spelling is tricky all on it’s own. When you throw in different languages and cultures it gets down right complicated. First, consider English and American spelling. Then throw in Canadian spelling, which is some combination of the two. Same for other countries in the commonwealth. Have you seen words spelt with an s instead of … Read more

Members of the Media

In the columnist message boards at BackWash, someone said “Don’t you just love the media.” They meant it sarcastically in reference to how an interview was handled. But, what they didn’t consider is that WE ARE the media. I think a lot of writers take shots at ‘the media’ and forget to count themselves among … Read more