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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Editing Principle 16: -ings Make Readers Itch

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In Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark offers a succinct diagnosis of many an unpersuasive paragraph: “Too many -ings.” Contemporary written English is riddled with -ings. We love gerunds (verbs transformed into a noun with the addition of -ing, as in learning, judging, swimming, eating), for one. We also imagine…

Editing Principle 15: Waste Will Be Generated

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Many beginning writers think: Start with the blank page. Fill it. Read it. Add more. Revise a little. Tighten your sentences. Done. Experienced writers will tell you to expect a creative process more like this: Start with a blank page. Fill it. Add more. Add stuff that you’re not sure belongs. Add stuff that you…