9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 94 Articles

You're 13 years old. It's a warm autumn Saturday and you're stuck at home, sprawled across the living-room couch, while all your friends are busy. "Mom," you say — dragging out the word to three syllables. "I'm bored. I have nothing to do."

"Go read a book," she says tartly. And you roll your eyes. Mothers just don't get it.  Continue reading...
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Do you have a supermodel you can consult with? Headline notwithstanding, I don't mean Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell or even that inimitable diva, Tyra Banks. (I call this column the Tyra Banks approach because I'm Canadian and irony is in my nature.)  Continue reading...
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A friend of mine recently did something dangerous. No, she didn't ride a motorcycle up a mountain during a lightning storm, try bungee jumping off a bridge or attempt to go windsurfing with belugas. Here's her confession: When submitting an RFQ she included a brief personal essay.  Continue reading...
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I have a close friend, whose work I have helped edit for more than 20 years. He likes to say that my job is to review his writing, find the very best parts and then remove them. He is half joking. But only half.

In my defense, I will say that I am simply following the advice of British journalist, critic, and novelist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who said: "Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings."  Continue reading...
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Stuck with your writing? Hitting a roadblock? Feeling you just can't go any further? Here is a game to help. It will sound a little crazy but, trust me, it works.  Continue reading...
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When my son was 18 months, he suddenly started walking with a pronounced limp and he became wild whenever we tried to look at his foot. Concerned, and because it was a weekend, we took him to the emergency room at our local children's hospital. The emergency doc took one look at my son's foot and said, "Ah, he has a bad case of sleeper toe!"

This strange malady occurs when a piece of long hair or thread in the foot of a child's sleeper slowly works its way around the child's toe, essentially garroting it. Fortunately for us, the treatment was simple. It involved a team of big strong guys holding down my son and removing the hair. Not pleasant, but very effective.

I was recalling this incident the other day when it struck me that editing is essentially like being an ER doctor. Let me explain...  Continue reading...
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Like music, writing has rhythm. Think of Shakespeare. He wrote his plays in iambic pentameter: Da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum. Okay, I know you're not Shakespeare but you and yours sales letter or your school essay or your e-zine article have rhythm too -- whether you know it or not. The beat that exists behind your writing is a key part of what we call your writing voice. It makes your work unique and recognizable. It expresses your personality. It's part of what makes you, you.  Continue reading...
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9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 94 Articles