Writer's Digest blogger, Brian Klems, defends the M-dash, in turn becoming our hero. Fans of the RU Writing Center Blog will recall my previous examination of the M-dash which simply sums the potent punctuation line as follows:
When in doubt, use a dash!Our collegues at Michigan State University took some time to examine what prevents student from coming to the Writing Center. Allow me to stress to our readers:
WE TUTORS ARE NICE PEOPLE AND LOVE TALKING ABOUT WRITING.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, can benefit from our Writing Center. We aren't intimidating -- okay, well moustache is intimidating, but my demeanor is pleasant -- and we really love seeing writers improve. Even I, the world's premier writer in cat-related false histories of economics, have benefited from the tutors here. Whenever I feel uncomfortable with something I've written, I turn to the writers here.
Come to the Writing Center. We will help you.
Meanwhile, Amanda, of the WVU Writing Blog, offered us a top ten rules for writing. I enjoyed the rules so much, I'm republishing them after the jump!
1. No internet while writing. Facebook is way too tempting!
2. Have a relaxing spot to sit in, but don't let it be in front of the TV.
3. When writing fiction, remember that the most important part of your story is the characters. Even if you have the best plot or the best writing, it won't matter if the characters are flat and lifeless.
4. When writing any kind of non-fiction, remember who your audience is. Your tone of voice is everything.
5. Edit after you've finished your first draft. Then read it aloud, edit, have someone else read it, edit again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Every sentence, no matter how good, can still be written better.
6. Write in a journal, everyday if you can. You might find yourself writing things you never thought you would, with beautiful phrasing.
7. Write when you feel inspired, and write even when you don't.
9. Write some more.
10. I'm being serious! Writing well is the most important skill you will ever learn. Even if you don't think you're going to use it often. Having the ability to write well gives you the ability to speak coherently and professionally and to know how to read other people when in conversation (re: audience).
Bradley Woodrum also writes for Homebody and Woman and Cubs Stats.