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Last summer I attended the Solstice Summer Writers Conference at Pine Manor College outside Boston. One of the workshop leaders was A. Manette Ansay, author of Oprah's Book Club selection Vinegar Hill and the recent Good Things I Wish You. One of Ansay's pieces of advice, which should become a tool in every writer's toolkit, is to study the writing of an author you like or one you don't and look at the story as a whole, then a chapter, scene, paragraph and sentence. See what the author does with:
- Point of view
- Punctuation, including sentence, paragraph and chapter breaks
- Word order
Resources: For more on A. Manette Ansay's perspective, see "A. Manette Ansay on Writing."