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How to Not Write Bad

Fun on Twitter

In my never-ending attempt to get with the social-media program, I have been regularly posting writing tips on Twitter, with the (logical) hashtag #YagodaTip.

To give you a taste of how much you can cram into 129 characters (I have to leave room for the hashtag) here are a couple of examples:

  • "A lot of good writers use the semicolon well; a lot of bad writers abuse it. There's one very common semicolon error; this one."
  • "Do good writers use rhetorical questions? Yes--but they make sure to answer them (or explain why they can't) in the next sentence."
  • "A seemingly obvious but often overlooked

Doing Good and Doing Well

Today is the official publication date of my new book, How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them. (Pause for collective "Yay!") Like every author I know, I'm obsessed with the rankings of my books on If you are not so obsessed, I'll explain that the site ranks the relative sales of every book it offers, from number one--currently American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History--all the way down to, oh, number 3,000,000 or so.

On pub day, or when a positive review or a national interview comes out,

D-Day Minus 2

That's D as in "drop," the music-industry slang term for a record's release. I am determined to use it whenever possible in reference to the publication on Tuesday of my new book, How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Errors and the Best Ways to Avoid Them. If you are so inclined, please go ahead an pre-order the book here. (Or, if you're coming to this post after 2/2, you can go ahead and order it.) No salesman will come to your door.

The book has already gotten some nice attention, in large part thanks to the efforts of Fiona Brown, crack publicist at Riverhead Books.

Fun at the Free Library

I'm pleased to report that I'll be talking about How to Not Write Bad at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Monday, March 18, 7:30 PM. The free event will have kind of a different format. To quote the FLOP website:

Mr. Yagoda will choose three example essays to critique from the stage. Please send submissions to Chosen essayists will receive a free copy of How To Not Write Bad.

So, if you want to get a free prose tune-up (and are okay with this happening in front of a few hundred strangers), send in your writing sample.

In any case, hope to see you there.