Help! For Writers

POYNTER

Beware of buzzwords and 9 other tips for cutting clichés

Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book "Help! for Writers," by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each of the problems. Don’t worry about the occasional cliché. I know writers who say they want to ban clichés … Read More
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Choose a main character and 9 other ideas for starting a story

Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book “Help! for Writers,” by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each of the problems. Problem 8: I don't know how to start my story. Solutions: 1. Collect examples of good … Read More
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Let your lead be a flashlight and 9 other ideas for focusing a story

Leads can shine a light for you and your readers to see what's coming next. (Photo by Alex Johnston/Flickr) Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book “Help! for Writers,” by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each … Read More
POYNTER

10 ways to mine that mountain of material in your notebook.

You can map your way off the material mountain. (Photo by Deposit Photos.) Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book “Help! for Writers,” by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each of the problems. Read More
POYNTER

'Save string' and 9 other things to do when your work habits are disorganized

There's a story in there somewhere. (Deposit Photos) Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book “Help! for Writers,” by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each of the problems. Problem 4: My work habits are so disorganized. Read More
POYNTER

'Talk to Shirley' and 9 other tips for reporting and research

When do you have enough? (Deposit Photos) Over the next few months, Poynter will publish shortened versions of 21 chapters of the book “Help! for Writers,” by Roy Peter Clark. Published by Little, Brown, the book lists common problems writers face and offers 10 solutions for each of the problems. Problem 3: I have trouble doing … Read More
POYNTER

Help! For Writers: 10 things to do when you can't think of anything to write

I have written five books – all published by Little, Brown – in the last ten years. They are, in order, "Writing Tools," "The Glamour of Grammar," "Help! For Writers," "How to Write Short," and, coming in January, "The Art of X-ray Reading." They are my children, and I love them equally. But in private … Read More
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