5 Lessons from The Great Gatsby School of Writing

If you should ever fall out of love with writing, read a little F. Scott Fitzgerald. That will surely rekindle the flames. I’ve been reading The Great Gatsby in preparation for this week’s film premiere. There’s nothing like re-reading a book you loved in high school or college — a decade or two of real-world […]

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Be an editor, not a jerk

The Secret to Being a Better Editor (Plus 5 Essential Tips)

When you’re providing feedback on other people’s writing, do you ever get a nagging feeling that they’re angry or resentful? It may be because you’re being a jerk. You can’t help it. You weren’t trained to be an editor. People who hold that title in media companies and publishing houses toil for years to perfect […]

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Write in the Morning

Last week I urged people to do less quoting and more original thinking. So this is me taking my own advice. I always write best in the morning. I feel like as the day goes on we get steadily beaten down by life’s many petty annoyances and obstacles, and it limits our creativity. The morning is […]

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How to tell a story

Three Things Every (Real) Story Must Have

The ancient art of storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication. If that’s news to anybody on the planet I would be absolutely shocked. Yet I see story after story about the science of storytelling. How we respond to them on an unconscious level. How they activate our brain. But rarely do […]

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To Tell a Good Story, You Have to Lie

The reason most peoples’ stories are hard to listen to is that they have trouble divorcing themselves from the facts of their everyday lives. They’re slavishly devoted to chronology and detail. Sometimes, to tell a good story, you have to tell a lie or two. Not big ones. You shouldn’t make up events and characters […]

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Grammar and usage

10 Everyday Words You’re Misusing (Including ‘Everyday’)

Certain word pairs that look or sound alike cause a lot of confusion. I’m not talking about the ones you hear about all the time, like there and their, it’s and its and to and too. Or even the more recently problematic (and inexplicable to me) lose and loose. That’s all remedial stuff. Here’s an advanced […]

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