Maria Popova, the brain behind BrainPickings.com — a newsletter you should subscribe to — has written another tribute to the ideas of the late science fiction novelist, Ursula Le Guin. Le Guin, as Popova points out, has important things to say about the function of storytelling. Here is part of it: “People wish to be • Read More »
Nate Hoffelder, the Digital Reader, gives us – at a quick glance – eight phrases that we might be getting wrong. They’re all packaged neatly in a simple infographic. The phrases: for all intensive purposes (my personal favorite) reign in baited breath sneak peak mute point case and point extract revenge peaked my curiosity Hoffelder leaves • Read More »
Author Philip Roth, now nearly 85 and retired from writing, has given an interview to New York Times journalist Charles McGrath, and it is fascinating. Roth talks about what it was like to be a writer: Exhilaration and groaning. Frustration and freedom. Inspiration and uncertainty. Abundance and emptiness. Blazing forth and muddling through. The day-by-day • Read More »
One of the great writers — a true craftsman — of the the 20th century, E.B. White, had this to say on the responsibility that writers have: “A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel • Read More »
Louise Walters: My debut novel did very well with conventional publishers, but they weren’t interested in the ‘difficult second’ – so I’m going it alone Source: I didn’t want to resort to self-publishing, but it’s an exhilarating change Louise Walters describes what it’s like to have a second novel turned down after success with a • Read More »
Writing for the Mass Media, now in its ninth edition and in print since 1985, is now being offered by Pearson, the publisher, in a digital edition that downloads to all formats and devices. This book, which is used as a textbook for courses in about 200 colleges and universities each year, is one of • Read More »
The speed of the Internet and the World Wide Web in disseminating information has forced editors and journalists to rethink the way they present news and the structure of writing.
Writing for the Mass Media will be a new edition — its 9th — next year. The new edition will maintain the same chapter outline (with some minor adjustments) as the 8th edition, but the material in the book will be expanded and updated. This new edition will be more closely tied to the book’s • Read More »
One of the four tenants of media writing is accuracy (the other three: completeness, precision and efficiency), and we say that accuracy is primary. But media professionals don’t always achieve accuracy. And inaccuracy can arise in places where we least expect it.
Professional writers need to learn what it is to write in the media environment. This “environment” is not just a place — although it is often that, such as a television or newspaper newsroom or the writer’s pool of an advertising agency. But it is also a state of mind, an acculturation that the writer must undergo.
In a famous 1895 essay, Mark Twain delivered a stinging critique of one of America’s 19th century literary icons, James Fennimore Cooper. Twain was very much a modern writer, advocating active, descriptive verbs and short rather than long words. His essay is worth reading, not necessarily for what it says about Cooper, but for what it says about writing itself.