style and writing

What Writers Can Learn From Economics

Motivations are the key to any narrative. Get them right and readers will empathise with your character’s desires. Get them wrong and readers disengage early on. While reading Superfreakonomics, the sequel to the fantastic Freakonomics, the importance of motivations in economics struck me as a great lesson for writers. Continue reading

5 Editing Tips for Writers with Dyslexia

Editing is difficult for every writer but having a part of your brain block some mistakes from view, confuse you about systems of grammar or struggle to maintain concentration makes editing even harder for people with learning difficulties. While my editing is not always perfect, I have developed a few techniques to remove many of the mistakes I used to make. Continue reading

Why Cherry Blossom Clichés Make Me Want To Scream

It’s cherry blossom season here in Japan and that means one thing: an abundance of clichés. Yes, blogs, newspapers and magazines will try to link the tired idea of cherry blossom being a new beginning, and a sad good bye, to any news story they can. Like all clichés it’s meaning has been anesthetised by overuse. Continue reading

Why Google’s New Spell Checker Is a Boon for Writers

A few weeks ago, I talked about the need for a new type of grammar checker, and how I hoped Google would attempt to fix a twenty-old problem. Well the time has arrived - kind of. Google has announced it is incorporating its contextual spell checking system in to Google Docs. Until now, Google Docs has been nothing but a quick way for me to view my files online but this might drag me away from my offline word processor. Continue reading

Why Your Grammar and Style Checker is Holding You Back

Grammar checkers have been around since the 70s and yet despite the massive increase in computing power, over that time, their ability has remained stagnant since 1992. Unfortunately, the widest used word processor also has one of the worst grammar and style checkers. Grammar checkers need fixing, they have improved in shuffles while the rest of computing has galloped ahead. Continue reading