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My training as a writer came from newspapers. I started at a community weekly and then advanced to a metropolitan daily. I was really young when I learned how to handle quotes; not all corporate writers are so lucky. If you ever struggle with quotes, here's a list of rules that will make the process easier for you.  Continue reading...
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"Try reading books by your favorite writers in the order they were written, and you'll find the effects of time on each writer's spirit," says Michael Lydon, who considers how time shaped Leo Tolstoy into a mature prose stylist.  Continue reading...
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I was speaking at a conference several years ago and talking about mindmapping. I spotted one tall, skinny guy in the middle of the very large hotel conference room, smiling and nodding his head vigorously. I could also see a few rather grumpy faces — people who looked either disappointed or disbelieving. A few even looked angry!  Continue reading...
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The single most valuable thing an aspiring writer can do to improve his or her work may be stated in three words: Read good books! Unfortunately, the statement begs the question, what makes a good book? The book you prize I may scorn; the book that thrills me may bore you.  Continue reading...
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When I learned I was pregnant with triplets, 20 years ago, I was desperate to know their gender. Did I, God forbid, have three boys? (In my mid-30s, I was sure I didn't have the energy for that!) Now, with the benefit of many years of parenting, I can recognize my desire for that knowledge as not just mere curiosity. It arose out of my intolerance for ambiguity.  Continue reading...
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Stories, we learn in school, must have beginnings, middles, and ends. Creating each leg of the age-old triangle poses daunting challenges, yet for writers eager to write a deathless masterpiece, no challenge is more daunting than beginning.  Continue reading...
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Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Or, to put it another way, the best-known American speech is seven score and ten years old. Although it's famous, familiar, and was often memorized by schoolchildren, the text of the Gettysburg Address is uncertain: we all know the words, or many of them, but it turns out that there are many Gettysburg Addresses, not just one.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 181 Articles