Friday, June 24, 2005

A Few Notes on Writing

1) TNP: I'm on page 124 of the novel I am writing. This morning after work at Café Teria, I went to my office (the local coffee shop ... one of 'em) and wrote for a couple of hours. Spent the first half-hour charting the course of the next fifty or so pages. When I finally got to the end of that, I found myself writing, "End of Part 1." According to my calculations, this draft will be between 400 and 500 pages, handwritten. The second draft will be much shorter, tighter, and better, but I'm not worrying about that right now.

2) Teaching: One of my Café Teria co-workers is a student at the school where I'll be teaching in the fall. He's giving me the scoop on what things are like there, from a student's viewpoint. I find it fascinating. Nice kid, too.

3) Website: I recently stumbled upon an interesting and very helpful site--both for me as a writer, and for me as a writing teacher. Poynter Online has an article on 50 Writing Tools, written by Roy Peter Clark. Most of the "tools" are pretty basic for an experienced writer, but I think they'll be great tips to pass on to my students. They include using strong verbs, seeking original images, showing instead of telling, and tuning your voice.

My favorite piece of writing advice? "Avoid clichés like the plague." Har har har!

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