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Daily Archives: August 7, 2019

Dialogue Dos and Don’ts

Effective dialogue is an essential part of both fiction and creative nonfiction writing. Good dialogue can be tricky. It needs to move the story forward and reveal important character information without seeming artificial. It needs to seem realistic without actually being realistic. Confused? Let’s break it down. Here are some things good …

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Albatross and Alcatraz Island

Even speakers who have had the misfortune of never studying Coleridge’s long poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) are acquainted with the figurative meaning of the word albatross: “A source or mark of misfortune, guilt, etc., from which one cannot (easily) be free; a burden or encumbrance.” Is Sarah Palin becoming an …

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Rope-a-Dope and International Affairs

The other day I began listening to an interview between NPR’s Scott Simon and Dennis Ross, a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. My attention was stopped cold by this sentence in Simon’s opening remarks: I apologize for using a sports analogy, but what about the chances …

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