And While We’re On The Grammar Theme…

Thought for the day

If you are using an adverb you have chosen the wrong verb
Mark Kelly

I picked this up on TheBrowser.com, an interesting aggregator. Its nature seems to vary between dark and negative, and just interesting. I recommend it… cautiously.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

You may know what Mark Twain said about “very”:

“…substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

English has wonderful nouns and verbs. Use them. Question your inclination to include an adjective or an adverb. Do not omit them entirely; just make them rare enough to be valuable.

The Diaeresis: Punctuation Lore From The New Yorker’s Comma Queen

This is a delightful — and very brief — lesson. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes are about remembering. Sure, “just jot it down”; and “The lightest pencil beats the strongest memory”; and… you get the idea. But notes are so, well, personal. Some like them in pen or pencil; some like them typed. Some like to draw as well as write; others like to include pictures, screencaps, videos, audio […]

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“Writing Fiction Gives You Freedom,” Says Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer the same age as my daughter Shir. I have read a few of his short stories, that are whimsical, loving, and often really strange. Today I heard him being interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” one of my very favorite programs. Among many other fascinating details, he […]

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Software Discounts for Writers

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Once again, some of my favorite software companies have gotten together for a summer discount campaign: SummerFest 2015: Discounted Artisanal Software. The products: Aeon Timeline The timeline tool for creative thinking. If you write anything that happens over time, you need this. Bookends The reference manager you’ve been looking for. DEVONthink Pro Office Your paperless […]

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Writing is thinking

Stringing words together is not hard. You do it all the time. But without thought, you may find that the words don’t make a lot of sense, are boring, or silly. You look at what you wrote, and think, “That’s not at all what I meant. I need to explain the context. But with just […]

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Writer: For Instruction and Encouragement, Read Brainpickings.org

Here’s an example. If you read the piece at the other end of that link, you will receive several blessings: You will meet Ann Patchett, whose wisdom about writing is exquisitely life-giving You will be introduced in passing to Maria Popova, mother of Brainpickings.org, and her contagious love of writing, writers, and you You will […]

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5 Reasons You Should Write a Book Now

I’ve probably told you this before, but so what? When did I ever learn anything from hearing it just once? Listen up, and absorb what resonates with you–and act on it: Credential. If you become an author, you become an authority. Notice “author” in the word “authority”? If you are an author, you are automagically an […]

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An embarrassment of riches for readers

For $10/month or less, you can get access to a library of hundreds of thousands of books. There are at least three such libraries: Kindle Unlimited (Amazon); Oysterbooks.com; and Scribd.com. All three let you try their service for a free month. I tried all three. There is lots of overlap among them, in terms of […]

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Music to focus by

The Brain Club is a monthly meeting in San Francisco founded by my friend Phil Dixon. Their presentations are video-streamed. Here is yesterday’s, by Will Henshall, on the subject of focus. More precisely, on the types of music that actually help you focus on the task at hand—say, the book you are writing—and the types that […]

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