Author Archives: knlistman

Playing musical words

Originally posted on Write about what?:
One of the quickest ways to make your writing voice stand out from the crowd is to master the use of literary devices. Some devices are just fancy names for specific types of diction…

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Deciding on a direction

Originally posted on Write about what?:
“Say what you are going to say, say it, and finally say what you have said.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this rule for organizing the written word repeated in the…

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The speed signs for writing

Originally posted on Write about what?:
The way we string together words and the type of words we use contribute to the “pace” of writing. Longer sentences with a plethora of subordinated clauses provide an intellectual sound to the writing. The…

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Order matters how?

Originally posted on Write about what?:
While diction determines word choice, syntax determines where the words are placed. Language without syntax are words strung together with no method to the madness–in other words, nonsense. Our normal syntax mimics what we…

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Write or wrong word

Originally posted on Write about what?:
Diction is one of the building blocks of voice that pushed far enough can become a two-edged sword, making the written word dangerously inaccessible to readers. When teaching Shakespeare’s plays to students I frequently…

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Tone of voice

Originally posted on Write about what?:
Tone of voice… you have probably heard this phrase used frequently, such as in “I don’t like your tone of voice.” As a child I often assumed that phrase was the adults’ way of…

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The writer’s voice

Originally posted on Write about what?:
When people speak they produce many different signals that  the audience can interpret–facial expressions, gestures, and timbre of voice can add to the meaning of the words, or reverse them. For example, a person…

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Ancient Name Dropping

In the George Lucas’ film The Empire Strikes Back, the furry Wookiee, Chewbacca, holds the head of robot C-3PO in the same way that Hamlet is usually shown holding a skull. Many people assume that Hamlet recited his fateful soliloquy … Continue reading

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More than what you see

Originally posted on Write about what?:
The term ‘imagery’ brings to mind, of course, images–verbal pictures that allow us to peer into the world which an author has dreamed up.  Imagery sometimes implies page after page of descriptive detail–in which…

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Vibrant verbs

Originally posted on Write about what?:
Writers can throw around the terms used to describe interesting language – sensory images, unusual syntax, well-developed descriptions, and vibrant verbs. But incorporating these into writing and preserving the flow is a challenge. Recently I worked…

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