Whether you are a new writer, or a seasoned one, it is always good to find out how other writers have fared before you. The internet is an incredible resource in this regard. True, you should not take every piece of advice as the gospel truth, but neither should you limit yourself from learning as much as you can. There are very many websites out there that offer excellent advice and guidance in the business of writing. In time, every writer finds his own voice, and develops their own niche, which helps in fine tuning your inner radar to identify which advice is good for your genre and interest in writing, and which is not. So get out there and explore the world! The world wide web, I mean. And in the meantime, I would like to share one of the gems I have found over time out there.
5 Quick Tips for Clear, Effective Writing by Laurie Pawlik Kienlen
1. Ka – Pow ! Write with impact. “Readers often use the same images to describe a document that has no impact,” writes Colter in Writing to Go. “‘It’s flat.’; ‘There’s no life in it’; ‘It just lies on the page.’” To make your writing more effective, add a little ooomph to your words and sentences. How? Learn what edgy and quirky writing is, and experiment with different, active, and precise verbs and nouns.
2. Use words and phrases you understand.Take this sentence: “The scansion of your writing reveals that you can learn to write better.” Ummmm…huh?….I looked up “scansion” before and after writing this sentence, and I still don’t know what it means. I’m sure I’m not using the word correctly, and I’m equally sure that even readers who know what it means won’t understand the sentence. To write clearly and effectively, leave out the “razzle dazzle” words (even if you know what they mean).
3. Connect the dots in your writing. Do your sentences and paragraphs have clear transitions from one thought to another? For instance, I often struggle with the opening paragraphs of my “Quips and Tips” articles, which contain four main elements. I want to introduce the idea (and hook readers!), include a writing quip, feature a book about writing, and then flow into the main article. These four elements need to be connected with logical thoughts and words. When your writing is clear, it won’t feel choppy or disjointed. Effective writing flows.
4. Take out the trash – even if you’re earning a dollar a word. Established freelance writers may get paid a dollar or two per word, but they strip every unnecessary syllable from their sentences if they want to keep earning a living as a writer. Students writing 1,000 word essays may want to stuff in extra words to complete the assignment, but what they gain in time they’ll lose in grades. Clear, effective writing is about using short words like “truthfully” instead of long phrases like “as a matter of fact” (or not eliminating the words altogether, if it’s not necessary). If you want to write better, fellow scribes, you need to take out the trash.
5. Use a fine-toothed comb on your article, essay, or business proposal. Even the most successful writers cannot apply every tip for better writing in their first, second, or third drafts. To write better – and keep your readers hooked – you need to edit and revise your work several times. This means starting writing your essay or article long before it’s due…and combing out all the tangles.
That said and done let us move into the readings for the week.
To have your story in this weekly process please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday at 4pm.
Thank you to all of you for your continued support and have a wonderful week!