Writing Tip of the Month: Listen Carefully

Benjamin Franklin offered some very good advice when he wrote, “A word to the wise is usually sufficient.” What he obviously meant was, listen to what you hear. “Experience is a hard school.” In writing, listening is vital, not only to those who are advising us, but to those who don’t know you’re listening: the clerk, the banker, the logger, the man on the bus near you. Listen to what he says but, more importantly, listen to how he says it. Listen to speech patterns: vocabulary, grammar, idioms, and more. For character development, next to introspection, dialogue is your most powerful tool.

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