Every word, every sentence, every paragraph must carry its weight, and the writer must be able to defend its presence in the final draft, for prose written with utmost economy carries utmost power.
Whether you’re an aspiring or published writer, The Writer’s Toolbox will help you take your writing to the next level. Inside, you’ll find the techniques of strong writing. You’ll learn how to choose each word for its vigor and sensuality, as well as how to simmer your work to its essence.
English was spelling tests, diagramming, tedious exercises in workbooks, but writing became a jailbreak of the imagination. —Stuart Dybek
The page, the page, that eternal blackness, the blankness of eternity which you cover slowly, affirming time’s scrawl as a right and your daring as necessity; the page, which you cover woodenly, ruining it, but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity; the page which you cover slowly with the crabbed thread of your gut; the page in the purity of its possibilities; the page of your death, against which you pit such flawed excellencies as you can muster with all your life’s strength: that page will teach you to write. —Annie Dillard
Master the Tools of the Trade
Since writing is ideally a balance between the private vision and the public world, the one passionate and often inchoate, the other formally constructed, quick to categorize and assess, it’s necessary to think of this art as a craft. Without craft, art remains private. Without art, craft is merely hackwork.—Joyce Carol Oats
The following posts are listed sequentially for those who would like to work through The Writer’s Toolbox as a study course.
- Active Voice Part I
- Active Voice Part II, The Difference A Verb Makes
- Active Voice Part III, Passive Emphasis
- Strong Verbs
- Wordy In More Ways Than One
- Get Rid of the Modifiers
- Avoid Wordy Phrases
- What’s With The Twenty Dollars Words?