Categories
Writing

Terms of the Trade: Active and Passive Voice

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Terms of the Trade

One should always prefer the active voice over the passive, they tell us. Baloney. Active and passive are technical grammatical terms that have nothing to do with how active or passive your writing is. The distinction between the two forms actually has to do with whether the focus of your statement is the actor or […]

Categories
Writing

Terms of the Trade: Past and Present Tense Narratives

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Terms of the Trade

I am puzzled by how imprecise writers sometimes are when they talk about their craft. If any craft should be precise and lucid in the description of what it does, it should be writing. But it’s not. A case in point: the distinction between “present tense” and “past tense” narratives. Let’s be clear from the […]

Categories
Writing

Stories All the Way Down

The name of this blog, Stories All the Way Down, comes from a presentation I gave back in my days in corporate and technical communication. There is a tendency in those fields to debate if storytelling is a relevant or useful tool for business and technical communication. My contention was, and is, that all communication […]

Categories
Writing

On the Presumption of Writer Blogs

Hi. I’m a novelist. You’ve never heard of me. Read my blog. Because that’s the game here, isn’t it. Writers set up blogs because we are told we need a platform. We need followers We need to be someone. It’s the same Catch-22 as looking for your first job. You need experience to get a […]

Categories
Writing

Tension, texture, and tenderness

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Every Page is Page One. I’d like to float the notion that the essential ingredients of drama are tension, texture, and tenderness. I’m not advancing this as a robust theory of story or anything like that. Nor am I suggesting that there is some brilliant new insight […]

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Ranting Writing

The Very Silly War On Very

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Every Page is Page One.  This graphic keeps popping up on writer’s lists and sites, generally to universal applause: This is very silly, but apparently it is not clear to many why it is silly, so I’m going to put my pedant’s hat on and dissect it. […]