Don’t Overload Your Readers With Your Message

Don’t Overload Your Readers With Your Message

Great writing is not only enjoyable, it has something to say – there is greatness in the theme. It may not be primarily a moral or a lesson, but something about the story appeals deeply to the heart. I believe that your skill as a writer determines the weight of the message you can communicate. The more skilled you are in handling the basic elements of plot, character, setting, conflict, and point of view, the more ambitious your theme can…

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How to Write a Non-Fiction Book: 10 Crucial Steps

How to Write a Non-Fiction Book: 10 Crucial Steps

Have you ever thought about writing a non-fiction book? Maybe you’re worried that you need to be an “expert”, or you feel daunted by the idea of writing so many words. But you can’t quite let go of that dream of seeing your name on the cover of a finished book. You might have lots of different reasons for contemplating a non-fiction book. Maybe: You want the book itself to bring in money – a perfectly reasonable ambition! You plan…

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The 3 Types of Compounds

The 3 Types of Compounds

This post discusses the three types of compounds in English: compound nouns, compound modifiers, and compound verbs. Compound Nouns Compound nouns come in three forms: closed, hyphenated, and open. They are formed by pairing multiple combinations of parts of speech, such as two nouns (workshop), a preposition and a noun (overlord), and a verb and an adverb (smackdown). Open compound nouns, which tend to be newer formations such as “life span” and “working class,” may consist of more than two…

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Inspiration for Writers: Hunt It Down!

Inspiration for Writers: Hunt It Down!

Not many writers lounge in an ivy-covered tower pouring out inspired words – that’s unrealistic. Many successful writers still keep a day job, most out of necessity, some out of choice. How inspired would you feel if you sat in an ivy-covered tower all day? Seasoned writers say that, since few books make much money, the key to earning a living as a writer is to write a lot of books. Not to wait for inspiration. A real-world example: professional…

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41 Words That Are Better Than Good

41 Words That Are Better Than Good

The soul of writing is specificity, yet all too often, we lean on general-purpose words instead of choosing the most precise ones. Most of our daily communication probably depends on less than 1,000 words. Of course, that includes words such as you, I, is, are, of, and for, which are already the best words for the job. I admit that sometimes in conversation, I deliberately limit my vocabulary because I don’t want others to look at me quizzically: “Who does…

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20 Tips to Improve your Writing Productivity

20 Tips to Improve your Writing Productivity

So you’d like your latest writing project to get moving faster. Great writers have felt the same. Don’t worry, it’s fixable. When the words stop, writers have effective ways of getting them moving again. Plow new ground Write multiple drafts instead of obsessively editing the same one. You can tell the same story, but tell it over again. You will probably feel more encouraged. That part that you never knew how to fix? Maybe your new draft doesn’t have it…

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Mentality and Mindfulness Meanings

Mentality and Mindfulness Meanings

Mental and its lexical relations, all pertaining to workings of the mind, as well as mind and words and phrases derived from that word, are listed and defined in this post. MentalMental is descended from the Latin noun mens, meaning “mind.” It means “pertaining to the mind,” though it also has a slang connotation of being irrationally agitated, as when somebody is said to be “going mental.” Demented, likewise, is used both technically, to mean “mentally impaired,” and informally, to…

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30 Words Invented by Shakespeare

30 Words Invented by Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), considered the greatest writer in the English language, used more than 24,000 words in his writings, more than any other author. Of those words, more than 1,700 were first used by him, as far we can tell. He may have made up many of them himself. How can you possibly understand someone who keeps making up new words? Because Shakespeare made up his new words from old, familiar words: nouns into verbs, verbs into adverbs, adverbs into…

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Functions of the Apostrophe

Functions of the Apostrophe

This post discusses the three primary functions of the apostrophe in the English language: the marking of the possessive case in nouns, the marking of the omission of one or more letters, and the marking of plurals of individual characters. (The obsolescence of apostrophes with abbreviations is also discussed.) Marking Possessives Apostrophes are employed in conjunction with the possessive s, as shown in the following examples: • singular common nouns: “the farmer’s daughter” • singular proper nouns that end in…

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Definitions and Glosses

Definitions and Glosses

A definition is a phrase or sentence (or more) that explains the meaning of a term, and a gloss is a brief definition offered parenthetically after the term. This post includes examples of sentences in which definitions and glosses are erroneously presented. Discussion after each sentence explains the error, and a revision demonstrates the correct treatment. 1. The term uncertainty is defined as not knowing how or if potential events may manifest themselves in the context of achieving future objectives…

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