Transportive Writing

The latest installment of Good Writing is a lesson in using active voice and parallel construction to paint vivid imagery. The scene it describes—of central Baghdad after two suicide bombings killed more than 150 people—is horrific. The L.A. Times’s account from Monday contains more than just a death toll, rundown of the infrastructure damage, and … Continue reading

Dreamy Writing

My former colleague Randall Roberts posted a gorgeous telling of a Saturday night–Sunday morning event at Hollywood Forever cemetery here in Los Angeles this weekend. Like every blog post, it could be polished here and there with a copyedit, but no matter: Randy paints a shimmering* image of a remarkable seven hours. This is a … Continue reading

Good Writing

If my writing philosophy can be summed up with one phrase, it would be: Good writing moves forward, and poor writing jumps forward and back. What this means, in a nutshell, is that strong writing is so smooth and efficient that the reader never has to refer backward in a sentence or paragraph to fish … Continue reading