Writing a book? Consider these self-admonitions by and for another author . . .

Writers & Writing

When talking to oneself is a fruitful enterprise:

Dear Jim:

In your soon to be published book, do the anti-Novus Ordo — New Mass — part, interspersing it with with the pro. Can you do that, Jim? Keep it dry and detached? If you try, yes. But will you try?

Jim: Good question.

Good advice, continued:

* Make your posts a foreshadowing of arguments to be fleshed out along the way.

* Keep it flat. (Not telegraphic, however, except when that helps, nor purple nor flowery.)

* Be not overly concerned with order and sequence, but be willing to test your readers for their ability to connect things. Does not mean not concerned at all, which would be a slatternly procedure.

* Go rather for the lasting image or hit-home phrase, the (dare I?) poetic. Absolutely. Do not shrink from the poetic. (But be careful.)

* Don’t…

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