Writing About Writing

Craft, tools, and process.

Distinctions: Squash vs Quash

Words: Squash vs Quash You squash bugs. You quash rumors. ———— Change: “The about-to-launch campaign was also squashed by Mayor Boris Johnson.” ———— Technically squash can be used in place of quash (to put an end to; suppress). But isn’t it nicer to make the distinction?

Writing Systems

Where do I start?

Self-Imposed Limits in Science Fiction

Science fiction is defined by a spirit of curiosity in a story where everything is just enough different that your initial biases are suspended and you, the reader, become alert to possibility.

Writing as Inquiry

I can’t think unless I put pen to paper.

Writing Out Loud

How do the tools of social media effect the once solitary habits of writers? Does writing out loud, sharing before we have composed, strengthen or weaken our writing? Do the benefits we gain from social interaction in terms of inspiration and feedback outweigh the problems of being constantly distracted and dispensing with a composition in what is essentially a rough draft form?

Jane Eyre (Fukunaga)

No movie adaptation of Jane Eyre is likely to please me; the most I can hope for is that I don’t wince too much. Jane Eyre was my first favorite book, the first book I connected to. Our relationship began when I was 14, seeing the Susannah York/George C. Scott adaptation on TV’s Hallmark Hall of Fame. By that all other adaptations are judged. This 2011 version leaves me cold.

Pouring Over Old Letters

The ploys of letter writers.

Acknowledging Craft

Why is perfecting one’s craft is looked on with suspicion, as something that limits self-expression rather than expands it?

The Power to Use Words

I use up my daily ration of words.

Scribe or Author

Thinking precedes writing.

Clear and Simple as the Truth

Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose
Francis-Noel Thomas & Mark Turner
Princeton University Press. 1994.

This book defines one type of style, classic, and its elemental principles. The classic style is contrasted to other styles, such as, romantic, contemplative, and reflexive.


A hunger.