Writing Description: Then and Now

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Hemingway is famous for his short, straightforward sentences that get rid of unnecessary descriptive words for a more concise, minimalistic style of writing.August Wainright

In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway wrote, “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of the iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

This was a grand departure from the great literature that preceded it, like that of Dickens, Hugo or other romantic novelists. While Hemingway was a pioneer in this more terse, modern style, his opinions are by no means universally accepted. I have done some research and given some thought to the divergence of opinion on the uses and styles of description in modern writing and what brought about the changes. Continue reading “Writing Description: Then and Now”

How Editing for Others Helps My Writing

learn writing by editingLately I’ve had quite a few editing jobs, working them in between my own writing and promotion of my latest book. I enjoy editing. I’ve always had a critical eye and an analytic brain, so very often anomalies in the writing will jump off the page at me. The caveat, of course, is that this art we practice is a highly subjective one, so while there are guidelines and style manuals to set general rules, those rules can and are broken regularly if the story requires it.

But I’ve noticed an interesting side benefit from my editing work. It points up for me, in spades, the crimes I may or may not have committed. Continue reading “How Editing for Others Helps My Writing”

What Makes Writing Stand Out

authors houseA discussion on Facebook page and the painful awareness that, for a number of reasons, I have not yet finished resurfacing the foundation of my house, sparked a train of thought on writing I’d like to share with you. I know that seems a stretch but hear me out. All will be revealed.

From my previous post discussing how home repair is like editing (and the other way around), you will recall that I learned the rudiments of a few skills, the results of which are in the picture here. Continue reading “What Makes Writing Stand Out”

Lessons Ed Taught Me

Ed Griffin
Author & Mentor Ed Griffin 1937 – 2015

Canadian writing legend Ed Griffin passed away recently leaving a legacy of several books, a thriving writer’s festival, and a family who adored him. But he left us with much more.

I lost my mentor this past July. Ed Griffin passed away. His life will be summed up far more ably by others, and his accomplishments will be documented in many other places. Instead, I’d like to pass along some of the things I learned from him. Some of you may be familiar with Ed’s lessons from his online posts (including this website), or attending his writing classes. For those of you who didn’t have the privilege of meeting him in person – please imagine a fiery, pasty white guy, in love with the spoken word – warmly, strongly, and passionately teaching you these lessons. Continue reading “Lessons Ed Taught Me”