Three Tips to Write Better Today
No chat here. Just the good stuff.
Sign up for my free webinar:
TODAY AT NOON ET
How to Say More Using Fewer Words
Let's try a super-short piece this week. Here are three things you can do to write more clearly:
Use "and" to indicate that something is overwhelming. If you ask your spouse what he or she did today, she might say, “I went to the market, picked up the kids, and paid bills.” But if she said, “I went to the market and I picked up the kids and I paid the bills,” you would understand she wasn’t too happy about it – that she was stressing the volume of her work, not just recounting her day. (That’s called polysyndeton, by the way. Most writing techniques have names. You don't have to know them, but it can help you keep an inventory of your tricks and techniques.)
Cut the adverbs. Unmodified verbs and adjectives suggest confidence. This makes readers more likely to believe you. "I’m really sure this will help you,” sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself. “I’m sure this will help you,” sounds like experience. (Even better: "This will help you.")
Give every paragraph a topic sentence. Place that sentence at the start or at the end of the paragraph. Be sure the rest of the sentences add meaning or detail. A paragraph without a topic sentence is a paragraph without a point, which is one common reason readers stop reading.
To improve your writing, learn how to get beyond just knowing that something "sounds right." Do specific improvements -- like these.
(Even better, invite me to your office for an in-person or virtual writing seminar -- anything from a lunchtime talk to a day or two of tailor-made instruction. Email me at Mike@MikeLongOnline.com.)