Writer’s Desk: Be Intentional

There is a lot of writing in the new Wes Anderson movie The French Dispatch. After all, it is about a magazine. The editor, Arthur Howitzer Jr., played by Bill Murray, is a grumpy but accommodating sort, the sort who complains constantly while still carrying inside him a deep and abiding love not just for the written word but also for those who know what to do with it.

In the film, Howitzer (based on legendary New Yorker editor Harold Ross) does not dole out much in the way of writing advice, but what he does say about the craft on multiple occasions is nevertheless solid:

Just try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose.

This is harder to accomplish than one might imagine.

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