Championship Writing: 50 Ways to Improve Your Writing


A fun-to-read guide that teaches writers how to construct graceful, concise sentences with flair.
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A fun-to-read guide that teaches writers how to construct graceful, concise sentences with flair.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780966517637
  • Publisher: Marion Street Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Short and simple: Fuzzy writers force readers to do their work 11
On the purpose of ink: Octopus writing sinks readers in a sea of words 15
People will little note nor long remember a cluttered sentence: Lincoln's restraint made words at Gettysburg timeless 18
Wordiness: Never so bethump'd with words! 22
The writing path can be bumpy or smooth The building blocks of sentences pave the way 27
Short words: Simple phrasing protects clarity 31
In a surprise move: Do journalists speak as they write? If they did, here's how it would sound 35
Fadspeak: Gag me to the max fer sure 38
Overwriting: Literature's Elvis on velvet 41
Make stories speak to readers: If your copy doesn't talk the talk, your audience might not hear 44
To catch an eye: Write strong and attractive captions 47
Rethinking headlines: Good heads open a door into the story 51
Language myths hinder graceful writing: Wordsmiths split hairs on infinitives, verbs 60
Grammatically speaking: Writers should avoid polluting the language environment 63
Pet peeves: Go ahead, ax me about irregardless 67
Spell-checkers: Don't jump to conclusions when playing with checkers 70
Notes on usage: Accepted and traditional definitions are the safest 74
Solving the Ambrose Bierce mystery: Why do people want to put a straitjacket on the language? 85
Speech is communication, too: Updating you on the rain event and trackage 88
Popular expressions: Misunderstanding is just a hair's breadth away 92
Zimmerman leads can put flesh on bare-bones facts: But dull is dull, despite device 94
Clause and effect: Backing in can wreck a lead 100
Avoiding the predictable: When the drop-dead lead is just a dead lead 104
The light approach: In writing, humor is serious business 108
Fresh approaches: The right detail can make you want more 112
Allusions: Food for the mind, nourishment for the soul 116
Important imports: Some common foreign expressions have no English equivalent 120
Making the difficult easy: Analogies can help readers understand 124
Literary tricks: Don't be afraid to write stories that read like fiction 129
Sound and sense: If not overdone, poetic devices can enrich your writing 132
Composition: Short and choppy can damage sequence, meaning 136
Attribution, she said: Overuse and tense problems get in the story's way 140
Quotations: The spice of write: Paraphrasing is the lost art of pruning quotes 144
Language skill and credibility: Mistakes make readers doubt 153
Avoiding pronoun pitfalls: When in doubt about who or whom, try a substitution 157
Comma sense: Common comma causes uncommon problems 160
Editing the wire I: Formula writing can be habit-forming 164
Editing the wire II: Wire editors shouldn't assume perfect readiness of wire copy 168
Taking risks: Why should you? Good writing is safe writing 171
Missed opportunity: Creativity seeks stories, not reports 175
Me, myself and I: Modesty covers a multitude of sins in first-person writing 179
Loaded language I: Avoiding the slant 182
Loaded language II: Readers have a right to fair and objective reporting 186
Pretty lies: Precision and accuracy strip away the mask of euphemism 190
Sexism in print: The excesses of political correctness have hushed legitimate complaint 194
Politispeak: Pols often disfigure figures of speech 198
Tips for coaching writers: Creating the right climate promotes teamwork 201
Index 205
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2001


    This 200 page book, Championship Writing, by Paula LaRocque is a tour de force for instruction in correct, fresh and effective writing and so engagingly written as to recall the 1950¿s & 60¿s nonpareil language expert and author Bergen Evans. Currently the only wordsmith that comes to mind in her class is William Safire. Writers of English are not the only ones who will benefit and be entertained by this book - readers of the language will be also. But be forewarned, reading this book could be a mixed blessing. Never again will the reader uncritically accept the writings in books, newspapers and magazines. Why do authors use certain expressions or clichés? How better could the reader construct the all important opening paragraph of the written material? One does not have to possess the originality of Herman Melville with his opening sentence of 'CALL ME ISHMAEL.' to imagine that he could come up with an improved first sentence or paragraph used by other authors. On the other hand talented writing will be more easily recognized and appreciated after reading LaRocque. Thus the feelings of schadenfreude may be experienced when reading poorly written articles and awe when reading top notch material.

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