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Category Archives for The Craft

9 Strategies For Using Science To Tell Stories

The day I went from having to follow strict briefs to being able to choose what I wrote about was a watershed moment for me. It was a new, open-ended project in the beauty sector, with a broad, vague content strategy and the brand’s objectives to guide me. Other than that, I had free rein.

I charged full-steam ahead, firing off blog posts, product descriptions, email content. Naively, I just assumed the ideas would keep flowing. But very soon, the well had run dry. 

That’s when I decided to turn to science for guidance. But not for the data—for the story. This simple shift of perspective almost instantly raised my game as a writer. When I decided to pick apart just why it worked so well, I found it came down to nine core strategies.

At the time, I had already been incorporating science into the content I was writing for clients in the beauty sector—a statistic here, a study there—to back up whatever hair or skincare point I was making. This time, though, I wanted to put the science at the center.

But did it make sense to go this level of geek in the most aesthetic of fields? I had my doubts.

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podcasts improve writing

5 Ways Podcasts Can Improve Your Writing

There are so many great writing podcasts out there now that it’s easy to find a whole wealth of expertise specific to your writing style. I’ve found that they’re a great way to start the day and inspire me to sit behind the keyboard and start tapping. 

Listening to someone else talk about the craft can spark the motivation I need to get going, getting me in the right mindset for a day of writing. In many ways, it’s like having easy access to a network of like-minded people, where you can hear their successes and learn from their struggles. 

And while you could passively listen to the same old podcasts for hours and hours every morning, there are ways you can switch up your podcast time to really develop your craft.

Try getting out of the box by discovering non-writing podcasts that can help you while also enjoying the best writing-focused episodes the podcast world has to offer. If you’re ready to mix things up and broaden your listening, try these five different ways to get you started.

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Dialects: How to Write in a New Voice

If you’re a fiction writer, you’ve probably run into the age-old problem of characters’ voices blending together until their conversations resemble nothing more than an echo chamber of yours. 

Crafting character voices is a struggle, and many writers also face the added challenge of writing a character with a dialect different from their own. Messing up one character’s accent has the potential to not only derail the entire narrative but also reflects poorly on the writer, so finding the right voice is vital. The last thing a writer wants to do is offend their audience with an offensive portrayal of their dialect.

Luckily, there are a few basic dos and don’ts that can be followed by any writer to ensure their phonologically diverse characters read like real human beings. 

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writing in hamilton

Skill with a Quill: The Power of Writing in “Hamilton”

There are a couple of songs in Hamilton that I would rather skip. (Yes, Lin Manuel-Miranda devotees. Have at me.) Frankly, “It’s Quiet Uptown” is too painful for me to hear. As a father of two, I wouldn’t dare to imagine the pain of that loss.

And the other song? “Hurricane” just sounds so… meh. It’s an ominous, somber tune that heralds the coming of scandal in Hamilton’s life and career. By design, it’s one of the sadder melodies in a play packed with infinitely more memorable tunes. Whenever I listen to “Hurricane,” I try to find some redeeming quality that justifies two minutes of my attention.

Now, I may have just found it.

You see, the lyrics to “Hurricane” establish one of the main themes of Hamilton. Of course, any aficionado of the play will tell you that legacy, death, nation-building, and love are the musical’s backbone. The theme underscored in “Hurricane,” though, is a little closer to home—a humbler concept compared to those sublime motifs.

It’s writing. Yes, you heard that right. Hamilton—with all its duels, cabinet meetings, and sexual innuendos—is all about writing.

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