A roadmap for writing

‘Write Away’ by Elizabeth George You’ll often hear writers talk about the value (or lack thereof) of planning Some writers (like James Patterson) are dedicated planners who write extended plot outlines Others (like Lee Child) claim to fly by the seat of their pants and be consistently surprised by the twists and turns their stories take Of course there’s no right choice between the planner vs pantser approach to writing Each writer needs to develop their own...

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Personal greetings en masse

This week I received a 'personal Christmas e-card' from a Queensland government Minister It was simply a PDF attached to an email The PDF is a single page with a photograph of the Minister, a 'best wishes' statement, and a 'Dear P&C Secretary' addressThe email was also addressed to 'Dear P&C Secretary', with this statement: 'To help conserve natural resources and protect our environment, I am sending you a personal Christmas e-card'My immediate reaction was that there's nothing very...

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Fabulous tools for writers

I've just finished reading the book 'Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer' by Roy Peter ClarkIt's perhaps the best 'toolkit-style' book about writing that I've ever come acrossNo 'correctness' discussions here This book is all about how language works, and how to fine-tune the writing craftMy favourite strategies come from the beginning of the book, in the nuts and bolts section I particularly appreciated the discussions about adverbs (use with care and be sure to avoid...

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Life is like a rice pudding …

crunchy on the top and slowly moving liquid underneathI've just finished reading a wonderful book about metaphor: 'I is an other: The secret life of metaphor and how it shapes the way we see the world' by James GearyEvery chapter delighted me And every chapter (and the book itself) included the wonderful challenge of understanding its title Each title fell into place as I read - giving me a series of little 'aha' momentsThere are chapters about the role of metaphor in language,...

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I’ve found an electronic dictionary

For some time, I've wanted an electronic dictionary - preferably something that would sit on my netbook I'm often asked word definition or word use questions that I'd like to be able to checkWhile I don't yet have a good dictionary on my netbook, I have found something that's almost as good I've bought an Electronic Dictionary Bookmark - an ultra-thin, flexible, plastic bookmark that holds the Collins Dictionary I love it! Now the trick is to remember to carry it with me at all timesI found it...

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Getting started

February always seems like a good time to start new ventures The year is still young, for me work is quite scarce, and there's time to think about doing new things Last February I launched The Writing Circle, a Brisbane-based network of workplace writing groups We've got two groups meeting regularly to talk about ways to improve our workplace writing And while I'm the facilitator of these groups, I'm finding that I learn an enormous amount from all of the participants The groups have...

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