When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.
Today’s tip: Comes from Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses, The Tangled Bank, and Brain Cuttings. He writes a regular column about science for the New York Times and a blog for Discover Magazine, where he is also a contributing editor and columnist. He is the author of ten books, the most recent A Planet of Viruses. Since I love writing about science (even have my own rarely-visited science blog), I’m drawn to people like Edward O. Wilson and John McPhee and…
Here are three of his pithiest thoughts about writing:
- Do as much research as possible away from the Internet — with living people, in real places.
- Be ready to organize vast amounts of data. Use a wall, or software like Scrivener.
- Be ready to amputate entire chapters. It will be painful.
Click to have Writer’s Tips delivered to your email box
Questions you want answered? Leave a comment and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.
More author tips:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.