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Michael Lydon has been swayed by the power of allusion. "I began by laughing at P. G. Wodehouse's addled literary quotations, and then I discovered how powerful and surprisingly subtle a writing resource allusion can be," he writes. "Though often overlooked, allusion lives omnipresent in the writing that surrounds us."  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon makes an eloquent case for the central role of assonance in the craft of fine writing: "More than a device we can apply by rule or rote, assonance comes to us as a gift from language itself, from our deep animal urge to communicate with our voices."  Continue reading...
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What keeps writing alive? The truth of life. Getting the truth into words is our only hope for immortality. Writing that speaks falsely about life dwindles down to death in a matter of decades.  Continue reading...
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Fine, call me a Luddite or, even worse, a late adopter, but I say, Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book.

Yes, I have adopted, step by reluctant step, each new advance of the digital realm, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and all the rest, and I've grown used to the virtual media's constant changing despite my constant grousing.  Continue reading...
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If — two letters, one little puff of breath between tongue and teeth—ranks high among language's most powerful and mysterious words: little if can build all the castles in Spain. The dictionary calls if a conjunction meaning "supposing that"; I call if a trigger word, one that signals and sets off the extraordinary mental process we call imagination.  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon has contributed columns regularly here about the writer's art, but for this installment we asked him to tackle a form of writing with which he is particularly familiar: songwriting. Lydon has written about popular music since the '60s, and he also writes and performs his own music. Here he presents some songwriting advice from his "sometimes agonizing, sometimes blissful experience."  Continue reading...
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To be or not to be, that is the question.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Happy families are all alike, unhappy families are unhappy each in their own way.

What do these famous sentences have in common? They are all general statements.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 61 Articles