Say No to Your Darlings

Say No to Your Darlings

Veteran writers often advise aspiring writers to “kill your darlings.” Grisly, isn’t it, but they all say it. William Faulkner wrote, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” Stephen King wrote, “…kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” Notice that King said “kill” three times, but then, we are talking about Stephen King. According to Slate’s culture editor Forrest Wickman, this advice was originally given by more than…

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Quotation Marks, Apostrophes, and Other Raised Symbols

Quotation Marks, Apostrophes, and Other Raised Symbols

This post details the function of various symbols that appear the top of a line of type to communicate additional information about the text. Apostrophe The apostrophe signals that, depending on usage, one or more letters are missing or are being added to perform a grammatical function. An apostrophe • marks omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of cannot to can’t or, in an extreme case, of the substitution of fo’c’stle for forecastle) • marks possessive…

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The Freelance Writing Course is Back with 50% Discount If You Join Today

The Freelance Writing Course is Back with 50% Discount If You Join Today

Today we are opening the 2018 edition of the Freelance Writing Course. Over 1,300 students have taken the course in the past and the feedback has always been immensely positive. This year we are implementing some changes that will make it even better! The Course The course aims to give you all the information and tools you need to start making money as a freelance writer. It’s a practical course; you will spend about 10% of your time reading the…

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30+ Old Norse Words You Already Know

30+ Old Norse Words You Already Know

Probably you’ve never studied Conversational Viking, let alone claimed to speak it. But the language of the Vikings, Old Norse, has influenced the development of English more than any other language besides French and Latin. The Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Danes all spoke Old Norse in those days, usually called the “Danish tongue.” In the 11th century, Old Norse was the most widely spoken European language, ranging west with Leif Erickson’s colony of Vinland in modern-day Canada, east with the…

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Top 10 Online Tools to Help You Write the Perfect Essay

Top 10 Online Tools to Help You Write the Perfect Essay

Writing essays can be tough … and sometimes you need all the help you can get. The great news is that there are plenty of online tools that can help you write the best essay you can – and I’m going to be running through ten of the best. Before we get into the list, though, here’s a huge caveat. DO NOT use websites that write your essay for you. When I researched this blog post, I found (to my…

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Markets and Merchants

Markets and Merchants

Market and attendant words, deriving from the Latin verb mercari, meaning “trade,” are listed and defined in this post. Market, referring to a place where goods are sold, migrated to English through an ancient Germanic language, and by extension it now also pertains to a geographic region or a demographic targeted for selling of certain goods or services, or an opportunity for selling or a supply of or demand for goods or services. As a verb, the word means “sell”…

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Be a Ruthless Editor

Be a Ruthless Editor

Hard rules are a good thing for writers sometimes. The sonnet is one of the strictest forms of poetry, but some of the world’s greatest poems are sonnets. A haiku form is even stricter, seventeen syllables in three lines. Hard word counts force a writer to overcome his or her natural laziness by editing ruthlessly. Because writers have no choice but to keep on ruthlessly editing and shortening until the piece is short enough, their job becomes easier, paradoxically. With…

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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Writing

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Writing

Will robots eventually have writers out of a job? Are we going to see computers writing the next Great American Novel? Probably not … at least, not any time soon. Over the last decade or so, though, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has become increasingly sophisticated … and it’s influencing the world of writing in a number of interesting ways. What is AI, Anyway? AI is all about machines learning and adapting. Instead of simply being programmed in minute detail with everything…

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Names of Animals and Insects Formed by Folk Etymology

Names of Animals and Insects Formed by Folk Etymology

This post lists words derived from words in other languages as a result of folk etymology, a process by which speakers adopt the foreign terms after revising them by using existing elements from their native language. bumblebee: This word stems from the Middle English word humbul-be, but by association with bombeln, meaning “boom” or “buzz,” the initial sound changed. caterpillar: The word for a butterfly or moth larva stems from the Old French word catepelose (“hairy cat”); the alteration of…

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Top 10 Resume Writing Tips for 2018

Top 10 Resume Writing Tips for 2018

Writing a resume can be really tough. You know you need to convince an employer that you’re the best person for the job – but how exactly do you do that? It can be especially hard if you’ve been out of the job market for a while, and you feel that you’re not sure what’s required from your resume – or if this is the first resume you’ve ever written. Don’t worry! We’re going to quickly recap the basics, before…

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