Constant Comment

Do you long for the company of other writers? Consider joining a writers retreat, like the one I lead in May in Hawai‘i. Click Here.

My books spring from a curiosity about English and a desire to understand how writing makes us laugh, well up with tears, or just say “ahhhh.” This site shares tips and resources, insights and inspiration—all in the interest of encouraging wicked good prose. And this blog brings you boneheaded errors and brilliant passages, random thoughts and ruminations. Let’s plunge into the peculiarities of prose….

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Digital dictionaries

It may seem old-fashioned to consult a dictionary while writing, but I can’t imagine working without a reputable dictionary nearby. “Working with word books strengthens our imaginative muscles, and in turn, strengthens our own mental thesauruses, our ability to call up precise words,” I wrote in Sin and Syntax. But what happens to the dictionary in an era of e-publishing?

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First persona

How do we write about ourselves without narcissism? I recently gave a public talk at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, on that perennially perplexing question: How do we writers “find our voice”? A couple of days later I led a workshop on crafting personal stories and memoirs. I’ve devoted an entire New York Times column […]

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