Language

Can a Foreign Language Enhance your Writing?

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Sarah Baughman. If you’ve read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, you’ll know—regardless of what you think of the narrator’s morals—it’s full of rich language: literary allusions, elevated diction, alliteration, detailed and unusual imagery, and wry humor. Nabokov handles his rather sordid subject with a linguistic sophistication any writer would admire, […]

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In the Beginning: How to Draw in Your Reader

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Susan Bearman. A story either leaps off the page or it doesn’t. Beatriz Badikian-Gartler once told our writing group that “Titles are a kind of promise you make to the reader.” Certainly, titles are important, but I think her point applies even more to the beginning of your […]

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Working Past Wordiness For Fresher Writing

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Sarah Baughman. I’ll give you twenty seconds to skim these paragraphs and tell me which one exhibits stronger, more engaging writing: Paragraph A The hottest month in Ayemenem would certainly have to be May. Each and every day is long and exceedingly humid. The river starts to dry […]

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How to Use (not abuse) Jargon, Slang and Idioms

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Susan Bearman. Editor’s Note: For a chance to win a copy of my eBook, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing, drop by author Jody Hedlund’s blog and leave a comment on her latest post, 5 Ways to Reduce the Working-Mom Whine Syndrome.  I started my writing life as […]

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How To Balance Dialogue and Description

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Sarah Baughman. I often read about the importance of spicing writing up with dialogue or description: a little show-don’t-tell language, a heated argument relayed with fast-paced exclamation points, a vivid image, an exchange whose subtext reveals more than the words themselves. “Absolutely!” I always say. “I need to include […]

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Use Your Fiction Skills To Write A Personal Essay

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Today’s post is written by regular contributor Sarah Baughman. A talented member of my writing group once told me she couldn’t imagine writing a personal essay. While the powerful description and plot development she employed throughout her novel-in-progress impressed us all, she said she would find it impossible to generate ideas for a nonfiction piece […]

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