Archive | Writing Advice

Are you misusing quotation marks?

We’d have a tough time surviving without quotation marks. A famous writer once observed, “Quotation marks allow us to identify what someone actually says, as opposed to simple statements being made by the writer.” Okay, I’m that writer, but the quote illustrates one of the primary roles of quotation marks. The other is to denote […]

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Always use familiar definitions

As I looked on, mother began to materialize around the edges of the copper vessel. Did that confuse you? Baffle you? It’s a completely legitimate and accurate statement. Mother often appears when someone is making alcoholic beverages, and it has nothing to do with the personal habits of the woman who brought you into this […]

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A simple fix for writer’s block

Whether someone is creating something for work, for school, or for any other purpose, nine times out of ten, their struggle begins with the first words they need to put on the page. Some people call it writer’s block, although people who write seriously will tell you that block is an entirely different animal. Fortunately, […]

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Is appropriate inappropriate here?

Frequently, copy contains words that don’t really need to be there. A great example is “appropriate,” as in sentences such as “once we review the information, we’ll take appropriate action.” That’s because saying “once we review the information, we’ll take action” is every bit as meaningful and effective. Since it says the exact same thing […]

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