On Writing

Columns on the craft of writing.

The Word Doctor: December 2011

When Joyce F. asked if I would consider contributing a regular column on writing to Dispatches, I had no idea I'd also end up working on a new online magazine website for the Military Writers Society of America. Yet, here I am — writing a column and working on the website. I'm honored to be working with the men and women of MWSA and hope to contribute something valuable to the organization. 

Allow me this opportunity to introduce both my column and the website. 

Tips & Tricks: Indexes

For those of you who write non-fiction, an important element of your book is the index. One of the most surprising things about traditional publishers is that they don’t necessarily provide one—although they often require one. If so, make sure that you understand what they expect from you before you sign your contract. Are you supposed to generate a list of key words? The whole index? Are you responsible for paying a professional indexer to create one for you?