Stuff Writers Like

Editing

Changing stuff to make others’ stuff better stuff.

10

May'17

Watch Out for These Words [Infographic]

The English language is complex and inconsistent. Understanding commonly confused and misused words is indispensable for clear, effective writing. Impress your readers (and publishers!) with perfect prose. This infographic from Listmonde lists twelve of the most misused words in the English language. Review the list for a refresher, and keep the infographic on hand for those moments when you can’t remember whether to use “lay” or “lie.” Keep this page bookmarked for a quick answer so you can get back to writing! ...

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01

Feb'17

Easy Editing Fixes

The main purpose of line editing is to carve away the unnecessary words, leaving only the beautifully polished prose. There’s no black-and-white system for deciding which words need to go and which need to stay, but there are “red flags” you can recognize as needing a second look. If you see these during the editing process, check them out, and make sure they really need to be there. ...

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13

May'15

15 Principles of Writing Marketing Copy that Boosts Conversions

A few years ago, a multimillion-dollar financial forecasting firm asked me to create a company-wide style guide for all of …

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04

Feb'15

Examining Description

Beginning writers often write description without stopping to think, when they should take their time and let the exposition flow. Instead of simply writing, “Tim walked toward the door, then stopped. He freaked out at what he saw. He trembled. Then he ran.” One could write ...

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13

Jan'15

Gifts of the Boneyard

In my own work, there is nothing I have struggled with more than the repeated need for revision. I have put aside a nascent novel for months at a time because I felt overwhelmed by what was required to get it into shape. Part of the difficulty is that we must be both the creator and the physician of our writing, which are quite different skills and require quite different states of mind. The expressive exuberance of creating is what gets me to my desk. But the humble, open, unknowing that I must bring to the work of revision is where I find my strength. In the boneyard. Let me explain …

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