Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Ben Fountain For the first time in countless years I read a book twice – back to back – it was that good. So good I wanted to experience it again. Every note it hits is perfect. It is one of the most cleverly descriptive books I’ve read – not […]

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It seems like I remind almost every author about this oversight: Many writers mistake the context of seemed, thinking it means “gives the appearance of.” More precisely, the context of seems is: “appears to be one way when in fact it is another – usually the opposite.” Therefore, as an example, if you say that […]

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Beat the Reaper

Beat The Reaper (Josh Bazell). The protagonist is a doctor who’s in Witness Protection because he used to be a hit man. BTR has my all-time favorite opening paragraph:           So I’m on my way to work and I stop to watch a pigeon fight a rat in the snow, and […]

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Suddenly A Redundancy

It is suddenly time to pay attention to one of the most overused and abused adverbs in all of fiction and narrative nonfiction. SUDDENLY is way too frequently used, out of context, to manufacture drama. Save suddenly for critical situations where (sudden) time can make the difference between winning or losing – life or death. […]

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