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Frank Ball

Practice with Purpose

Encouragement, Writing Opportunity

(Part 5 of 5)

Writing instructors repeatedly encourage aspiring writers to read books in their genre and other books as well. That’s wonderful advice, because we’re sure to absorb some of what worked in bestselling fiction and nonfiction.
  But we also run the risk of absorbing what doesn’t work.

Try this fifteen- to thirty-minute exercise once a week:

  1. Read a page from a novel and pick your favorite paragraph.
  2. Read the paragraph aloud.
  3. Write the paragraph.
  4. As the character, put yourself more deeply into the scene, and ask questions about you could better describe what you’re seeing.
  5. Edit the paragraph, looking for ways to improve the sentences.
  6. Using your own words, write how you would describe the scene.

For an example, Click Here.

Frank Ball

Page Turner Needed

Weekend Fun

Sometimes, professionals need help.

Bring in someone to perform a simple task, and the communication can become really funny.


Frank Ball

Practice with Persistence

Encouragement, Writing Well

(Part 4 of 5)

Bestselling authors have learned the value of persistence. They use time wherever they can, gathering ideas, making notes, and writing. Even with that effort, they will produce around 750 good words a day, about three double-spaced pages. At the same time, they might cut 2,000 bad words, because they insist on good words.
  At such a slow daily output, how they can finish a novel in a year. They do it by writing every day.
  Do the math: five days per week, fifty weeks per year, equals 750 pages of 187,500 words.
  Persistence in writing something, almost every day is much more productive than occasionally writing a lot.

Frank Ball


Weekend Fun

Spellcheck is a wonderful aid—until wee bee come two depend ant on it, thinking it will find the saturations when we leaf out a word or have a wrung word.

To read Martha Snow’s wonderful poem, “Ode to the Spell Checker,” illustrating the danger, Click Here.