Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick List of 50 Writing Tools

I'm learning from my writing comrade, Scoti, that there's a real advantage to trolling the Internet for writing information. Granted, some of the links are worthless rabbit trails and advertising dead ends. But I've watched Scoti unearth some valuable information--and I decided to do some cybersleuthing of my own.

In fairly short order, I stumbled upon Poynter Online. The Google blurb said Poynter Online "helps journalists do their jobs better and to serve their communities ... and provides useful tools ...

One of the first tools I discovered was writing coach Roy Clark's "Fifty Writing Tools: Quick Tips." Clark suggests:

Use this quick list of Writing Tools as a handy reference. Copy it and keep it in your wallet or journal, or near your desk or keyboard. Share it and add to it.

Categories include:

Nuts and Bolts
Special Effects
Useful Habits

A number of the tools are also available via podcast. Here are one tool example from each category:

Nuts and Bolts:
Begin sentences with subjects and verbs.
Make meaning early, then let weaker elements branch to the right.

Special Effects:
Prefer the simple over the technical.
Use shorter words, sentences and paragraphs at points of complexity.

Work from a plan.
Index the big parts of your work.

Useful Habits:
Draft a mission statement for your work.
To sharpen your learning, write about your writing.

As the photo at the beginning of this blog suggests, Clark also has a book, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, from which this quick list is culled.

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