The case against outlining (why mindmapping is better)

mindmapping

  Viewing time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. To see every episode click on the subscribe button on my YouTube channel. 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. Hi and welcom... Read More

The figurative language of Paul Theroux…

Paul Theroux

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 metaphors from Paul Theroux... I have not read a great deal of Paul Theroux. When younger, I devoured his very funny non-fiction book The Kingdom By The Sea, the story of his travels — as an American — in Great Britain. Later, I enjoyed... Read More

What’s a ‘flibbertigibbet’?

flibbertigibbet

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:  flibbertigibbet... Here is a novel about four college classmates — an artist, an architect, a lawyer and an actor —who move to New York and support and torment each other for decades. A Little Life, by Hana Yanagihara, h... Read More

Do you really need 10,000 hours to be a good writer?

writing and the 10,000 hour rule

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes You certainly know that writing takes time, but what do you know about writing and the 10,000-hour rule? Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell popularized the notion that in order to be really good at something, you need to spend 10,000 hours doing it. In his book Outliers, for example, he described how the Beatles had spent more than 10,000 hours in Hamburg,... Read More

A battle with grammar barbarians…

grammar barbarians

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 an article about grammar barbarians written by Jay Thorwaldsen... I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who corrected my grammar. Continually. Thirty years later, I did the same for my own childre... Read More

How to respond to the media

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Being prepared is better than being scared when it comes to responding to the media... I was leading a workshop recently, on the topic of how to respond to the media, when I had a question I really hadn't expected. "Is it an obligation to do an interview with any reporter who wants one?" a participant asked me. This seemed an odd line of questioning to me,... Read More

The figurative language of Colson Whitehead…

Reading time: Less than 2 minutes 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 Colson Whitehead... I had heard many laudatory reviews of the novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. A National Book Award Winner and a #1 New York Times bestseller, the book also drew sophistic... Read More

What does ‘scabrous’ 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: scabrous I finished the novel Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (pictured above) last week and can't say I much liked it. Despite glowing reviews from the New York Times and the Guardian, and its status as a shortlisted title for the 201... Read More

7 signs your writing is professional

Reading time: About 4 minutes Clients often ask me if their writing is “professional enough.” Here’s how to know if your writing is good enough to make the grade… I used to read a blog written by someone who had serious writing challenges. I was interested in her content so I usually forced myself to ignore her writing lapses, even when they grated. The worst? She regularly used th... Read More

When you should ignore spelling

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 post about when you should ignore spelling correctly... I was going to say it's been a long time since I've had to worry about my children's spelling. But that's not true. My adult son is dyslexic an... Read More