1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 62 Articles

You and I want to be good writers, but what will make our writing good? Inspiration, perspiration, determination, and endless revision — all fine answers, but the biggest answer is: good writing captures life.  Continue reading...
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Day after day of 90+ degree heat seems to melt our brains into neuronic mushes far too soggy for heavy reading, and we become capable only of lazing through lighter-than-air fare. A memorable New Yorker cartoon tells the story: a stern cop, looming over a sunbather reading Crime and Punishment, says, "I'm sorry, sir, but Dostoyevsky is not considered summer reading."  Continue reading...
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"All men are created equal." This sentence stands among the most powerful five words penned since Biblical times. America's founders declared the sentence a "self-evident truth," and for two hundred and thirty-seven years it has been both the rock on which the nation's democracy has stood firm, and a lightning flash that has inspired rebels everywhere to fight against the lies of tyrants.  Continue reading...
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"He's a real nowhere man, living in a nowhere land..."
—Lennon-McCartney

That's a great lyric in a great song, but I don't recommend describing nowhere people and places as a goal for struggling writers.  Continue reading...
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No other novel is more worldly than HonorĂ© de Balzac's Lost Illusions, delighting us with courtesans and countesses, misers and millionaires. Yet no other novel is more word-y, more focused on the art and business of writing.  Continue reading...
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"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." This enigmatic sentence has been bouncing around the literate world for thirty-plus years. Many attribute it to the cerebral comedian Martin Mull, but its origins, like those of many such catch phrases, remain misty.  Continue reading...
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"Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book," I wrote a year ago in a Visual Thesaurus column that garnered more comments, and more negative comments, than any other column I've written in three years contributing to the site. "Fie on you, Michael Lydon," VT subscribers told me in no uncertain terms, "we love our Kindles, and don't you dare say mean things about our little black and white darlings!"  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 62 Articles