Tag Archives: names

Generic Character Nouns Leave Me Cold

This craft issue—and I just made up that “generic character” business, because I’m not sure what to call it—has been around as long as I’ve been editing, but it seems to be getting worse. I see it all the time now, and I dislike it. It’s one of my editorial pet peeves, kids. This is […]

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#WriteTips #ForWriters (An Update*)

I keep running into interesting articles that would be good updates for posts I’ve already written. This happens a lot with material about the craft of writing—God knows I’m not the only blogger writing about writing—so this summer I’m using these updates as a way to draw attention to my archives. (Of course, for this […]

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It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

It’s hard to be a beginner. Kids, they’ve got that whole teacher / student dichotomy down, but when you’re a grownup with a novel burning a hole in your pocket (not to mix my metaphors or anything), it’s not always easy to resume the role of student. But, my friends, the path to publication—which runs […]

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Short Saturday: How Important Is Research and Authenticity in Fiction?

This headline crossed my field of vision on Twitter about six weeks ago. I didn’t waste a second clicking over to read it, not least because I am pickin’ up whatever James Scott Bell is throwin’ down. (But also because I’ve written some on this subject, here and here and here too.) Bell points out […]

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A Daily Writing Tip

Lots of folks are dispensing writing tips these days. There’s even a Twitter hashtag for such pronouncements: #writetip. I do it, too, though I try to do it from the position of what I see as an editor. (Someone who’d seen my most-read post found his way to my website and—rather than post a comment—sent me […]

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It’s Patrick’s Day. Paddy, Not Patty. Please.

For the first time ever, I’m rerunning a post. But this is an important issue, kids, for Your Editor. Let’s get it right this year, OK? It’s Patrick’s Day. Paddy, Not Patty. Please. The day the Irishman was born, his mother watched the St. Patrick’s Day parade from her room in the Rotunda Hospital overlooking […]

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Short Saturday: Words for Water

I’ve been focused on words this week, in one post you’ve seen and others I’ve written but not yet posted. Then a friend of mine led me to this little gem, the obituary of a woman who worked for the English Place-Name Society. That such a thing exists enchants me. Which then reminded me of […]

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It’s Patrick’s Day. Paddy, Not Patty. Please.

The day the Irishman was born, his mother watched the St. Patrick’s Day parade from her room in the Rotunda Hospital overlooking O’Connell Street and the Parnell monument. I’d love to be in Dublin for this parade, although they say some of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world are here in the […]

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Short Saturday: Charles Dickens is 200 Years Old

Well, not exactly. But he was born 200 years ago on February 7, and if you haven’t broken out Great Expectations lately, it’s high time you did. To celebrate. What? You say you don’t care for nineteenth-century literature? Well, as my father used to say, that just leaves more for me. But Dickens has had […]

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The Cotoneaster Disaster, or Me Talk Latin One Day

Speaking of the Celtic music/Boston Celtics conundrum, it should be noted that we’re all just a word away from a pronunciation disaster. Here’s a great post from my guest, Billie Brownell … The Cotoneaster Disaster, or Me Talk Latin One Day When others in my high school class were studying Latin in order to become, […]

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