Saturday, 13 March 2010

A great blog writer's advice on "How to Write"

I met Chris Clarke 30 years ago, lost touch with him after a couple of years, and reconnected through his blogging after a gap of 25 years. Chris is a great writer; the best writer in the blog medium I know. That is, in part, because he is thoughtful and interesting, and shares many of my values including skepticism and respect for uncertainty. But it’s also about the wordcraft. I read him even when he writes about topics I would ignore from anyone else. (Dogs, for example.) Yesterday he posted a piece I highly recommend on How to Write.

Link | Posted by Edward on Saturday, 13 March 2010, 13:23 ( 1:23 PM)

Great advice from Chris Clarke--thanks for posting this link. I especially like this tip:

"Remove the first and last paragraphs of each drafted piece altogether and see how the piece works without them. Most writers take a paragraph to crack their knuckles and warm up at the beginning of a draft, and you'll find a perfectly good and more economical beginning at the start of the second paragraph."

I find that to be true in most of what I write. Another great bit of advice, attributed to Mark Twain, is "Kill your darlings." I take this to mean that if you're overly attached to a line or phrase, it probably needs to go.

Posted by: Erin Van Rheenen, 22 March 2010, 13:42 ( 1:42 PM)
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