Content Tagged ‘Donald M. Murray’

Thinking and feeling

March 23, 2016 | 12 Comments

Reading & writing in the digital age

May 13, 2010 | No Comments

When Steve Jobs presented the iPad recently, The New Yorker reported, “The decision to enter publishing was a reversal for Jobs, who two years ago said that the book business was unsalvageable. ‘It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,’ he said. ‘Forty per cent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.’ ” In fact, computer users have been shifting their non-book reading the …

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Make a scene

February 25, 2010 | 3 Comments

The big shocker this winter: making scenes is hard. At least it’s a lot more work to give readers an experience than to pound out summary. The payoff’s obvious—the reader gets to immerse in another life—and scenes may even help me cut swaths of fat exposition from my memoir. All this is clarifying, and my writing feels more like conscious craft these days. Always in this latest revision, I’m trying to bring more showing to the foreground and less recapping. …

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Revise, then polish

October 25, 2009 | 2 Comments

“The writer who writes for revision does not wait for a final draft but works through a series of discovery, development, and clarification drafts until a significant meaning is found and made clear to the reader.”—Donald M. Murray, The Craft of Revision (Fifth Edition) Not many years ago, I was having dinner with a writer I admired, and when she mentioned having multiple versions of an essay I said, “You do? That surprises me.” “I’m surprised that you’re surprised,” she …

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Why narrative is necessary

October 11, 2009 | One Comment

We humans are the beast who records and shares the present, remembers the past, and predicts the future in narrative. We are storytellers, using the narrative’s beginning, middle, and end to order the river flood of confusion and contradiction in which we struggle to survive. Narrative is embedded in all effective writing.—Donald M. Murray, The Craft of Revision Why is narrative so necessary to storytelling and to our species? “Narrative is that distinctive form of human thinking by which we …

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