Friday, July 6, 2007

Exceedingly Useful Tool Alert

Roy Peter Clark may be my new hero. He has a list at the Poynter Institute web site of 50 great tools to help writers improve. These are not the oft-repeated “Know and Love Your Semicolon” type of tips (useful though they may be) but actual concrete examples of ways to improve your writing and how you edit yourself.

He started in April of 2004 and spent most of a year compiling the list, posting a new tool each week. The first post was a real eye-opener and my “learn something new” thing for today. I’d never hear of right-branching sentences but I’ll definitely remember to use them to improve my writing now that I have. I have a long backlist of articles and posts that will benefit from some editing attention.

In fact, the whole writing site is a terrific resource for free information. See Chip Scanlan’s post about the science of using active verbs. The entire point of the Poynter Institute is to help journalists do their jobs better, but not with dry and somewhat superior direction. The various writers show healthy senses of humor and doses of creativity.

While I’m blathering on about news, I thought I’d mention a new Digg-like site with a twist, Thoof. The theory is that not only do you add sites and click on the sites others have submitted but that the home page will tailor itself to your interests by showing you articles similar to those on which you have clicked. The site launched a week ago, so there does not appear to be enough of a database to judge their system in practice just yet. I may join anyway, just to see if getting a few articles in on the ground floor gets them added attention.




Hi, I'm reading you via the No Nofollow | I Follow | DoFollow Community at Bumpzee, on the RSS feed.

I'm glad you mentioned the 50 great tools, because I can certainly use them. ;) I'm always looking to improve my writing, so I'm bookmarking that and will try to read one a day.

Looking forward to reading more from you. :)




Thanks so much and good to "see" you! I'm amazed at some of the fantastic resources laying around on the web and I'm glad that I have a place to share them.



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