Considering John McPhee…

John McPhee

Reading time: Just over 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 Magazine piece on writer John McPhee.... I first heard of writer John McPhee [pictured above] back in 1982. A friend of mine had gone to journalism school in New York City and, gave m... Read More

How do I write a book introduction? [video]

writing book introductions

Viewing time: 4 mins. and 52 secs. The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. Today's question focuses on writing book introductions.... 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... Read More

The figurative language of John Green

John Green

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about some similes and metaphors from John Green.... I first heard about John Green (pictured above) about eight years ago, when my kids were 15. He was famous to them as a vlogger — a person who posted funny videos on YouTube and who offered an offbeat way o... Read More

What does ‘spavined’ 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: spavined.... When I read a Calvin Tomkins story about artist Dana Schutz in the New Yorker, I was thrilled to see it gave me three fascinating words. Here is Tomkins' text:   Large and medium-sized canvases in varying st... Read More

Why writers should use a secret sauce — tracking

writing tracking

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Have you ever kept a writing tracking record? This simple document — you can create it easily in your own word processing software — will revolutionize your productivity.... When I wrote my first book, 8½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better, I made so many mistakes. I didn’t have a daily writing goal that was specific enough I allowed myself to ed... Read More

The joy of reading (and writing) about cooking

food writing

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 post about food writing... I am a writer. But I am also a foodie. I enjoy cooking, baking, eating, writing and reading about food. It is one of the great pleasures of my life. Perhaps... Read More

How can I improve my writing focus? [video]

improving writing focus

Viewing time: 4 mins. 42 secs. The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. Today's theme is improving writing focus for novelists. 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-G... Read More

The figurative language of Pamela Paul

Pamela Paul
Credit: EARL WILSON/New York Times

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes and metaphors from Pamela Paul.... When I heard about Pamela Paul's "BOB" — an acronym meaning Book of Books — I knew I had to read her memoir. Paul, the New York Times book review editor has kept a list of every book she's read for... Read More

What’s ‘omerta’?

omerta

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: omerta.... Are you tired of hearing about the foul and reprehensible behaviour of Harvey Weinstein? I'm not so much tired of hearing about it as I am appalled that it was alleged to have occurred. Hasn't our society progressed past... Read More

How to work with difficult editors

difficult editors

Reading time: Less than 4 minutes We don’t always get rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes we have to work with people who aren’t very good at their jobs. Here’s a primer on how to work with difficult editors…. I once worked for a difficult editor at the daily newspaper where I cut my teeth. He started screaming at me in my first job interview, and I was so shocked by his aggression that... Read More