Words on a Page Writings about writing

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Editing: the secret to good writing

Editing on paper

If writers were like magicians, I’d probably be blackballed from whatever organization I’d belonged to for what I’m about to write.

After speaking at a conference a few years ago, I was talking to one of the people who attended my session about creating minimalist documentation. Although he wasn’t a writer, he had to create documentation. During our chat, he mentioned that writing was difficult and that he always had a hard time getting what he wanted to say, in the way he wanted to say it, on paper.

I told him that writing is hard, even for people who do it professionally. But the secret of good writing isn’t simply being good with stringing words together. The secret is editing.

How to use loglines to focus your writing

A child writing in school

No matter how experienced a writer you are, sometimes your writing takes too much of a life of its own. Your writing rambles, it lacks focus, it doesn’t lead the reader anywhere.

It’s frustrating when that happens, especially when the idea underlying that writing is sound. But how can you focus that piece of writing?

There are a number of techniques you can try to get around that problem. But one that I’ve been experimenting with lately shows a lot of promise. That technique involves writing loglines.

Curious? Then read on.

A few links for the end of the week

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5 reasons to learn the basics of screenwriting

A old movie projector

While I have no ambition to become a screenwriter, I’m fascinated with movie and TV scripts. Screenwriting is, to me anyway, an interesting form of writing. I’ve read a number of scripts over the years and have marveled at the skill and craft involved in writing a script.

Scripts aren’t (contrary to what some people have said) difficult to read. But they can be difficult to write. But whether you’re an aspiring screenwriter or not, it’s definitely a good idea to learn at the least the basics of that form.

Why? Here are five reasons.