Blog

“Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks.”

The Daily Post

If you write for an audience — be it millions of strangers or your mom — you inevitably think about how your words appear to others. Very often, this self-consciousness results in overstuffed prose and too-clever storytelling. Here to remind us of the virtue of simplicity in writing is Raymond Carver, a master of narrative and linguistic economy:

“I hate tricks. At the first sign of a trick or gimmick in a piece of fiction, a cheap trick or even an elaborate trick, I tend to look for cover. Tricks are ultimately boring, and I get bored easily, which may go along with my not having much of an attention span. But extremely clever chi-chi writing, or just plain tomfoolery writing, puts me to sleep. Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need to be the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer…

View original post 34 more words

Natural Photo Frames: Using Lines and Borders Around Us

The Daily Post

The world has many natural frames, waiting for you to use.

— Laura Cook

Last week, photographer Laura Cook shared her insights on visual storytelling and creating single images that tell rich stories. In one of her tips, she suggests: frame your stories. From doors to windows, consider backdrops that add interesting visual lines, shapes, and frames within your images.

I’ve compiled some interpretations of natural frames, using some of my favorite snapshots from my travels.

Architecture

From traditional doorways to uniquely shaped openings, and massive columns to grand buildings, you’ll find frames — geometric and rounded — everywhere you go, especially as you wander the streets of cities.

Ask your subject to stand in front of a door. Or, open the door and place the person you’re photographing in the middle, or leaning against one side, or sitting on the ground.

Think about the space that’s created in between. Consider…

View original post 776 more words

Five Ways to End Your Post

The Daily Post

Many of you devote a lot of time and attention to your opening sentences — and rightfully so. Considering how important it is to hook your readers from the get-go, you want to get that part right.

In writing just as in music, though, our lingering impression of the piece we’ve just consumed depends just as much — if not more so — on the finale. Yet so often, by the time we reach the end of our post, we’re too tired, too unfocused, or too eager to hit the Publish button to care too much about how we bid farewell to our audience.

If that sounds like you, it might be time to rethink how you approach your post endings. Here are five ideas to make the tail end of your post just as engaging as its first note.

Throw a teaser

Why not use the very end of one…

View original post 451 more words

Declutter Your Prose: Three More Phrases to Avoid

The Daily Post

In the spring, we noted some examples of phrases that might be distracting or unnecessary in your prose. Since many of you found these suggestions helpful, here’s another round of phrases to avoid:

1. In today’s blog…

Interested in more blog vs. post discussions? Read Slate’s take, Meg Pickard’s note on terminology, and Kristen Havens’ semantics lesson.

blog is your site, posts and pages and all. What you probably meant to write is: “In today’s post…” Or: “In today’s blog post…” Posts make up the content you create on a regular basis, while your blog is your complete online home, your site, on which you publish your posts.

That said, think back to other introductory phrases we’ve talked about: “In this post, I will explain…” or “Today, I will write about…”

This phrase, too, is unnecessary:

In today’s blog, I’d like to share some of the best…

View original post 447 more words

Three Ideas for Serial Posts

The Daily Post

Interested in more ideas on serializing? Check out some of Ben‘s postsfrom our archives.

Serial posts are one way to encourage your audience to return to your blog and make your site a part of their reading habit. Today, we’ll look at three ways you can serialize and have a bit of fun doing it no matter whether you’re writing or publishing photographs.

Old school cliffhanger

Back in the late 60s, every other episode of that awesome campy series, Batman, ended with the caped crusader and his sidekick Robin stuck in a trap and headed for sure demise. In the following episode, Batman would finagle a bat-tool of some sort out of his utility belt and save the dynamic duo from disaster. Batman is an example of a classic cliffhanger.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, consider sharing your post in multiple parts, spread over a…

View original post 468 more words

Brain Power

“Brain Power.”

In assuming that we do only use 10 percent of our brain, if I could tap into the other 90 percent, I would seek great knowledge. I’d wanna know the answers to life’s great questions. Why are we here? What is death and so on and so forth. Im curious about the meaning of life when the end result for many of us  consists of our loved ones having a pity party with a pine box and an empty vessel. Is there something greater in this life that we should be seeking other than our personal desires?  Should we have a connection with the spiritual world on this side. I’d wanna know everything that there is to know about everything. I’d wanna know the why’s and the who’s and the where’s. Is everything circumstantial or “does everything happen for a reason?” There is so much that my own understanding can not fathom about this world and this life. And I’d want all the answers had I the capability to use 100 percent of my brain power. I’d write more but this pretty much sums it all up.

Connect The Dots

“Connect the Dots.”

“Look it was just a spontaneous idea,” she said. I hope eBooks apply because its 9:45 at night and I’m in bed and the closest book to me is on my Amazon Kindle Account. At this point I’m thinking I wish I had picked a better book, but the damage is done. So with without further ado….

“Look it was just a spontaneous idea,” she said. I was interviewing Emerald Stone on her blog that seemingly took the world by storm. “I had gone through a bad breakup and needed something to take my mind off of it. It’s all there in the blog. I had considered blogging for a while but nothing quite gave me that push. But oh what a broken heart can do.” she stated as she chuckled. “We’ll, it’s four years later, and you have a successful blog, a husband and children now. So, I guess you could say that breakup paid off ” I said to her. “Yes, I suppose you could. “she said. We chatted for a bit more. I got great notes and a few posh pictures of her in her modest living room, We were on the second floor of her apartment building. The room smelled of freshly cut gardenias. I know this because they were all that I could smell as they were sitting on the table between us as we conversed. This article was gonna be a masterpiece and just what I needed to kick start my own career as a journalist. EVERYBODY read this woman’s stuff, regular Joe’s and celebrities alike. As she walked me to the door she glanced at me and said……