Category Archives: organizing writing

Let’s Return to Direct Lead Paragraphs

A Wandering Lead and Three Revisions Writers must compose direct lead paragraphs or risk losing readers. A wandering opening finds readers lost, wandering somewhere else. A direct opening can’t guarantee that a reader will continue but a clear, direct path … Continue reading

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Revised Post on Revising

NB: I wrote this post last year and titled it “More on Revising.” (internal link) I noticed tonight that it needed more work so I have revised this post on revising. Argh. Editing never ends. More on Revising — Updated … Continue reading

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CBS Claims Unbiased Reporting

CBS claims in their latest advertising that they offer unbiased reporting. How stupid do they think we are? Everyone knows that reporting is biased to a greater or lesser degree. Every reporter and every editor and every network CEO has … Continue reading

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Fighting Wordiness

I once revised copy for a painter’s home page. The original text was only 250 words or so. These changes were the most important. It’s not just about reducing word count but making text more direct and impactful. Fighting wordiness … Continue reading

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Shun “tion”

Slow and Soft Notice how slow and soft these “tion” words are compared to their more active counterparts: division, dividing multiplication, multiplying addition, adding revision, revising motivation, motivating contention, contending summation, summary Shunning “tion” in Practice “tion” deadens writing I … Continue reading

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Real Life Word Problems

Few online editors rely on a manual of style anymore like CMOS. They may have a self-developed style sheet but that’s it. Complicated word problems are the province of editors with university presses, literary reviews, or those hardcopy editors working … Continue reading

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Revising, Style, and Time – Revised

Revising, Style and Time Excellent writing takes time which you may not have. Tighter writing is better writing by making reading and understanding easier. That writing, though, takes time and alters the style of a piece. In revising other people’s … Continue reading

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Can Writing a Certain Amount of Words a Day Improve Your Writing?

ROUGH TRANSCRIPT Can you improve as a writer by writing a certain amount of words every day? I have heard this advice over the years or read this advice over the years. I remember Ray Bradbury in particular. I think … Continue reading

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I taste a Liquor Never Brewed by Emily Dickinson

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed by Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886 I taste a liquor never brewed – From Tankards scooped in Pearl – Not all the Frankfort Berries Yield such an Alcohol! Inebriate of air – am I – … Continue reading

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Writing Within Different Styles (Part 1)

Writing Within Different Styles (Part 1) Little writing is more stilted or conforming to its trade than legal writing. Anything submitted to the court must sound legal, just as the IRS tax Code must sound like all that previously written … Continue reading

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