Be-verb Bumper Stickers Make a Comeback

A car pulled up next to my Prius at a stoplight in downtown Portland. The driver opened her window and asked, “What does your bumper sticker mean?” Through my passenger window, I told her that it means to look for verbs like “is” and “were” and “are,” and then consider how you might reword to make the writing tighter and more impactful. “You made my day,” she said. Continue reading

Writers, How Much Should You Leave Unsaid?

I chopped off the first four paragraphs, massaged the middle, and refashioned and refashioned the ending—oh, how I wanted to say things there!—until nothing remained but what had happened. Continue reading