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The Writing Room

I’m a writer who loves to talk about writing, so if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer I hope you'll stop by now and then and keep me company . . . You’ll find writing tips here as well as my thoughts on the writing life. Watch out, though. The Grammar Geek will be putting in her two cents from time to time.

The Writing Room: To Niche or Not to Niche?

Where’s my niche – spiritually, philosophically, politically? As a writer? For a writer, nichelessness can be a problem. I’m a hopelessly open-minded, doubting, wondering, yearning skeptic who senses the Holy at work in all sorts of people — Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists.


Writing Room: The Punch Line Always Goes Last

Everyone knows that the punch line goes at the end of a joke, not the beginning. A mystery writer knows to set the story up and get all the necessary events and clues in place before revealing that the pizza delivery guy did it. The same is true of a paragraph and a sentence.


The Writing Room: Is Less More? Or Is More More?

What’s wrong with this sentence? “It was a letter from my lover; my heart thumped, my stomach sank, my breath stopped, and my hands shook as I opened it.”


The Writing Room: Two Must-Have Craft Journals for the Literary Writer

Poets & Writers and The Writer’s Chronicle are the only two magazines that never seem to make it to the stack of unread magazines forever piling up on my kitchen counter. If one of them shows up in our mailbox around lunch time, instead of plopping it onto the pile, I open it up and read. On those days, it can be an hour or more before lunch is over and I find my way back downstairs to my writing room.


Writing Room: Ending Paragraphs and Sentences with a Bang

One of the handiest writing tips I know – and an easy one to implement – is this: The most powerful place in a paragraph is the last sentence. More precisely, the most powerful place in a paragraph is the last phrase or the last few words of that last sentence.