Thursday, May 14, 2009

This is the next to the last batch of writing tips from HARO, Enjoy! Laura

“Don’t use dialogue to tell something that should be shown. It just makes the character who is speaking sound long winded. Putting quotation marks around exposition won’t draw readers into the scene or involve them more than if you’d left it part of the narrative.” From Patrika Vaughn,

“If I feel I’m having a bad writing day, I’ll re-read some things I’ve written in the past that I really like. Reading my own writing helps to put me in the “zone” I was in when I wrote it.” From Melissa A. Rothermel

“Create a style sheet to ensure you use the same spellings and refer to names the same way throughout. For example, numbers spelled out vs. numerals, and full names (e.g., "Laura L. Hoopes") vs. shorter versions (e.g., "Laura Hoopes").” From Linda Carlson

“My favorite tip for writers comes from author Graham Greene who wrote 500 words a day. NO MATTER WHAT. He was so compulsive about it he was known to stop with a “The” if that was his 500th word. I am a writing coach and workshop leader –– my book, BANG THE KEYS: Four Steps to a Lifelong Writing Practice comes out with Penguin this summer –– and this bit of advice has helped more of my clients than I can say. Additionally, for concentration-challenged 21st century writers, I would also recommend two software programs. One is called Macfreedom ( Right now it’s free, and it allows you to tell it to keep you off of the Internet for as many hours as you wish. Priceless! Writeroom is also wonderful. It allows you to write on a black screen with a green blinking cursor. Writeroom is also wonderful. It allows you to write on a black screen with a green blinking cursor.” From Jill Dearman

“Take at your blog posts over the past year or more; has your opinion changed or do you now hold a completely contrarian point-of-view? Those kinds of posts are great fodder for people afraid to say they’ve changed their mind. Another way to approach it is, even if you still agree with yourself, try to write a post from the opposite perspective. It’s a great way to get the juices flowing.”From Jennifer Lindsay,

“ 1. Identify the audience - visualize a typical reader sitting across from you and your task is to explain something so that they will understand the explanation 2. Define the purpose - What are you going to explain, and why do they need to know about it - or why should they even care 3. Prepare an outline: Tell 'em what you are going to tell 'em; Tell 'em; Tell 'em what you told 'em. 4. Write the piece 5. Review the piece against the purpose - does the piece achieve the purpose? 6. If a fairly extensive rewrite is needed - start over rather than correct or try to fix what is already written - it is very difficult to throw out your hard work, but often the results will be much better.” From Dr. William R. Osgood

“Anyone can take a good idea and give it shape and substance. Some can do it better than you, some not as well. But nobody can take the idea that sings to your soul and perform the kind of alchemy on it that you can. Only you can transform that idea into the one-of-a-kind gem it longs to be. Surrender to that right idea. Perform your magic on it. Let the right idea for you be the idea you write.” From Mark David Gerson


Beth Dunn said...

Great tips!

wizardofwords said...

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Lorelei said...

It's great to get so many ideas; I'm happy to share them. I love it when they are humorous. That makes them easier to remember!