How to write a complaint

Reading time: About 3 minutes Do you know how to write a complaint letter? The rules are straightforward but surprisingly challenging to apply... My 20-year-old son, who’s studying to become an opera singer, recently gave me a complaint he’d written about one of his professors. He wanted to know if it was “too harsh.” More importantly, because the complaint was to be anonymous, he wa... Read More

On the road again…

I’m currently travelling so I won’t be able to blog regularly until Sept. 26. I have scheduled my Tuesday posts in advance so expect the next one Sept. 19. I’ll give you the details of the trip on my return.... Read More

10 ways to become a better proofreader

Reading time: About 2 minutes If you can afford to outsource your proofreading, do it. If you can't here are some tips that will help... Do you clean your own gutters? Change the oil in your own car? Bake every birthday cake from scratch? I'm guessing you don't do many — if any — of these things. And you shouldn't proofread, either. Proofreading is a specialized job requiring someone ... Read More

On the road again…

I’m currently travelling so I won’t be able to blog regularly until Sept. 26. I have scheduled my Tuesday posts in advance so expect the next one Sept. 12. I’ll give you the details of the trip on my return.... Read More

How to save yourself from boredom while writing

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Here are 10 boredom cures — also known as writing tips — that can help any writer have a bit more verve.... I sometimes find myself getting bored when I write. This feeling is not the end of the world, but it’s not very pleasant, either. And if we’re bored as writers, think about how our poor readers are going to feel! Or maybe I should say “for... Read More

Roger Rosenblatt’s ‘invisible forces’

Roger Rosenblatt
Credit: CHIP COOPER

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a New York Times article by Roger Rosenblatt.... I spend much of my working life thinking about writing. But when I read Roger Rosenblatt's profoundly insightful New York Times piece, headlined, "The ... Read More

How can I spend less time rewriting?

less time rewriting

Viewing time: 3 mins. 55 secs. The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. Today's question focuses on spending less time rewriting. If you have a question you’d like me to answer you can email me at daphne@publicationcoach.com, tweet me @pubcoach, or leave a message for me at the Skype account, The Write Question. Welcome to The Write Question, I’m Daphne Gray... Read More

The figurative language of Tom Perrotta….

Tom Perrotta
Credit: BEN E KING

Reading time: Just over 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of metaphors and similes from novelist and screenplay writer Tom Perrotta.... Tom Perrotta (pictured above) is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominate... Read More

What does the word ‘skeevy’ mean?

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary, and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That's why I provide a word of the week. Today's word: skeevy.... I choose today's word, skeevy, not because I didn't know what it meant but because I wanted to take the chance to explore its etymology. I encountered it in an Aug. 7 & 14/17 New Yorker review of  Tom Perrotta... Read More