A Fortuitous Kiss

Words and how we compose them are about all we have in written language to produce the thoughts and images that will carry our experience and reflection to others. That is why many teachers and critics are so conservative—or better, conserving—about the proper use of words: language is a surprisingly blunt instrument for conveying the …

Got Five Minutes?
Read and Revise One Sentence

In the study of music, an étude is a short composition written to practice technique. Musicians play études to exercise their skill and improve their proficiency. Writers can do something similar by revising one short sentence for a few minutes over and over, knowingly changing structure and design to see the different effects that result. …

The Voice Behind the Words

The term written voice refers in writing instruction to the personality a writer presents through the wording, phrasing, and construction of the language we are reading. I say personality deliberately, because it is not so much a question of knowing who the author is in actual, personal detail, but rather of discerning another human being …