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One writer’s secret weapon

In my quest to improve my writing craft, I’m always saving great writing articles and pieces of advice. Like photographs we take and throw in shoeboxes until that day we’ll put them in an album, these articles and snippets of writing advice float around in boxes and folders. No more.

I’m going to follow author Chris Orcutt’s advice. Orcutt saves articles and handwritten notes from books he’s read and posts them in blank composition notebooks. They serve as a customized writer’s resource. He calls them his secret writing weapon.

“These notebooks are my Cliffs Notes of every (good) book or article I’ve read about writing, and they’ve proved invaluable over the years. Before starting a new project, rather than reread all of those books and articles, I simply reread the notebooks, giving myself a refresher course on story craft, characterization, punctuation, inspiration, grammar and much more,” Orcutt wrote on his blog.

Orcutt credits his “Notes on Writing” with helping him garner excellent reviews for his Dakota Stevens Mystery Series. For more details about how he does it and examples of advice from his composition books, read his blog post, My Writing Secret Weapon.

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