Articles about "Help! For Writers"


Chat Replay: Which Books Can Make Me a Better Writer?

The question of what writers read, and how they read, kept coming up in the days following the publication of my new book, “The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English.”

“Which … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Do I Find a Structure For My Writing?

In St. Petersburg, Fla., we have a famous landmark and tourist site called The Pier. It’s an oddly shaped building sticking out into Tampa Bay, and it’s about to be demolished. In my single-minded brain, demolition of The Pier … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Do I Speed Up My Writing Process?

My writing problem? I am so slow.

Not all of us can be fast writers, but all of us can be slow. Slow/good is not a problem, and can often benefit the writer and the story. Slow/bad can blow up … Read more

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Chat Replay: What Are the Best Ways to Give My Story a Strong Beginning?

“Well begun,” said Mary Poppins, “is half done.”

Many experienced writers feel that way about the beginning of a story. Some testify that they might spend half of their time crafting the beginning. The theory is that the well-written lead … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Do I Find a Focus For My Writing?

When I think about “focus” as the central act of the writing process, I am using a metaphor drawn from photography.

In most cases, the photographer wants the image to be “in focus,” as sharp and as clear as it … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Do I Write to an Appropriate Length?

There are a few standard ways in which reporters and writers are rewarded for their work:

  1. Pay
  2. Play
  3. And the freedom to generate more of the stories they want to work on.

All three are interrelated, of course, and it’s … Read more

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Chat Replay: What Are the Best Ways to Expand Your Vocabulary?

I know so many writers who begin to question themselves when they encounter another writer who seems to have a much richer vocabulary. I know I do. When I read my first book by the late David Foster Wallace, … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Do I Decide When I’m Done With My Reporting and Research?

One of the hardest things to do is to figure out when it’s time to stop reporting and start writing. While it’s true that reporting and writing are parts of the same process, it’s also true that reporters spend much … Read more

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Writing Chats Schedule

Join us for biweekly chats about writing, hosted by Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark. You can visit this page to participate in the first writing chat, and you can sign up for reminders for individual chats by clicking on the links … Read more

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Chat Replay: How Can I Tighten Up My Writing?

In American culture, the word “tight” has several distinctive meanings. If someone calls you a “tight wad,” it means you are stingy. But if we have a close relationship, we are “tight.” If the jazz trio is playing with perfection, … Read more

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