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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Growing the Beard 

For those of you that missed it, yesterday was officially declared "...the creative low-point at which the [blog] finally lost all credibility." Yes, apparently my vain "...attempts to attract [my] fans' waning attention with over-the-top statements" had the unintended impact of convincing my readers that the blog "...has fundamentally and permanently strayed from its original premise."

Perhaps the biggest part of the problem is that I didn't have any original premise. This is the best I could muster from previous posts on blogging:
I really do desire to provide quality content - insight, musings, provocations, and the like - in a manner that reflects a grace-empowered, faith-driven, Bible-believing, Christ-exalting, God-honoring life.

I'd like to engage you in a deeply enriching, philosophically stimulating, theologically accurate, and culturally relevant dialogue.
OK, so I admit that "poophemisms" doesn't exactly make the cut, and I appreciate those who hold me to a higher standard. Perhaps I should take some lessons from these guys:

J.I. Packer on How to Become a Better Writer
  1. Don't write until you have something to say.
  2. Know your ideal reader, and write with that reader as your focus as if you're directing all of your thoughts to him.
  3. Remember that there are two sides of the brain: the left and the right. The left is the logical side--monochrome gray. The right side handles grammar, imagination, and pictures--that which gives color to life. The way of wisdom in writing is to use color: nouns, verbs, and adjectives that convey pictures. A good communicator appeals to the whole person--both sides of the brain. (C.S. Lewis is a great example.)
  4. There is a place for long sentences, but a long sentence should be followed by a short one. Use plenty of short sentences that will jump off the page and hit the reader between the eyes. Readers need variety--both long and short sentences--to keep them awake.
C.S. Lewis on How to Become a Better Writer
  1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
  2. Always prefer the clean direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
  3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”
  4. In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the things you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us the thing is “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please, will you do my job for me.”
  5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
(HT: Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds)

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I blog ESV Terror Alert Level