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Clickbait: Nothin' to See Here

don't be reeled in by clickbait

Josh Benton of Harvard’s Neiman Journalism Lab defined clickbait as "Noun: Things I don't like on the Internet.”
There is little to like about clickbait. Clickbait is a headline that generates a momentary rush of excitement that culminates in a rapid letdown. It is a corruption of information, a "bait and switch" tactic that leads to the Internet's most insipid websites and faux blogs filled with picture galleries accompanied by short, vapid blurbs of text.

Talk the Talk. Write the Walk.

too to to error

I marvel at the language skills of those who live outside of native English-speaking countries. Several friends speak two or more languages. I find that phenomenal. Although I have studied French and Spanish, I am far from conversant in either language. English is my one and only and sometimes I've wondered about that..

14 Writing Prompts That Smash Writer's Block

bulldozerThe other day I suggested some ways to create writing prompts. This list will suggest ways to expand them into the story you want to tell. These writing prompts will trip your trigger, light your fire, or push your on-button. I’ve looked at dozens, maybe hundreds of writing prompts. The problem with them is they all start with a single sentence. When writer’s block ices up your driveway, you need a bigger bulldozer to dislodge it.

Surrounded by Writing Prompts

Elderly man on park bench

Observe your world. Look at the old man on the park bench and imagine him as a boy. What choices or circumstances changed his dreams and brought him to who and where he is today? Ask yourself, what is he looking at? What does he see?

Only Words

Heiroglyphs
Photo Credit:Jon Bodsworth

Heiroglyphs from the tomb of Seti I

You may have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that were true,
we'd still be writing in hieroglyphics, wouldn't we?

Writing for Online Reading — How Long Is Too Long?

measuring length

It may come as no surprise to those who read online that narrow text columns are preferable to wide ones. Good web developers pay attention to browser resolutions and screen sizes to ensure that their web pages are the right width. The length (i.e. word count) of an article is the writer's concern.

Morning Conversation

conversation coffee mugHow can your reader tell what your characters are talking about? “They were better, just not as good.” We talk in shorthand a lot, figuring our companions will understand what we leave unsaid. In writing, though, the context of a conversation is all important.

The Holy Grail of Writing

The Holy Grail of Writing

What's your favorite novel writing application? After decades of writing, and several misfires, I have finally found mine. In fact, these days I have an arsenal of writing aids, but one in particular is special for creative work.

Handling the Truth

detective

Whether you're writing an article or posting on Social media, how you handle the truth can make or break your reputation as a writer. Finding the truth often takes some serious detective work. Fortunately, the Internet has the right tool for every occasion.


Clean Writing: Avoid the Mob and the Mudslingers

angry mob cartoon

There are two sides to every issue, pro and con. The phrase comes from the Roman, pro et contra, meaning for and against. Funny thing is, whichever side we are on, we tend to believe we are on the pro side. It is easy to become antagonistic towards the cons, to believe the worst about the issue as well as the people on that other side.