5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 50-56 of 62 Articles

Writing offers many advantages as a medium for thought. Writing can be accurate: true in detail to fact and nuance; versatile: no subject is beyond its grasp; imperishable: first editions return in time to dust, but texts can be reprinted; economical: a slim volume can hold a treasury of ideas.  Continue reading...
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Recently I wrote here about trivial purposeful falsity, TPF for short, a major cause of writing death. Here’s another: narcissism.  Continue reading...
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In our first writing class every September, I tell my students to print in their notebooks, big capital letters, please, that to tell a story, a writer must:

GET A PERSON IN A PLACE
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We writers about writing mostly write about "good" writing; we give our readers helpful hints on how to write well and point them to masters like Homer and Dickens to show them how it's done.

Good writing, however, does not form the bulk of writing. Like islands lost in the vast Pacific, writing's great works rise as rare peaks above endless oceans of bad writing, books and journals in which the writing is so poor or feeble or dull or trivial or trite or pompous or false or malicious or stupid that it lives for a day and dies away.  Continue reading...
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Here is the latest contribution from Michael Lydon on the writer's art.

My recent Visual Thesaurus essay, "Realism: The Truth of Fiction," set off a brisk debate in the comment section, the gist of which was, "Okay, Michael, realism is the truth of fiction, but what is this 'reality' that realism describes?"  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon, a well-known writer on popular music since the 1960s, has for many years also been writing about writing. Lydon's essays, written with a colloquial clarity, shed fresh light on familiar and not so familiar aspects of the writing art. Here Lydon shines a light on literary realism, the style by which writers "make the imaginary real and the real imaginary."  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon, a well-known writer on popular music since the 1960s, has for many years also been writing about writing. Lydon's essays, written with a colloquial clarity, shed fresh light on familiar and not so familiar aspects of the writing art. Here Lydon takes issue with the novelist Elmore Leonard's "rules" against descriptive writing.  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 50-56 of 62 Articles