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Monday, June 11, 2012

"Seven ways to improve your writing … right now"

James Chartrand is confident the following advice will make you a better writer:

1. Be concise and be clear
2. Keep it short
3. Stick to three
4. Watch your tone
5. Talk Food, Sex, and Danger
6. Break it up
7. Stay on topic

You may already be aware of some of the points on this list. What makes this post on Copyblogger interesting to read is the snappy writing. What James Chartrand preaches, James Chartrand practises.

Elaborating on "Watch your tone", for instance, Chartrand says it’s easy for writers to assume readers can pick up on our mood and tone from our writing:

After all, we certainly know our feelings, humor, intent, and state of mind at the time we write. But for readers, it’s clear as mud. They’re guessing at your tone — and they may guess wrong.

Here’s an example:

    Honey. Please.

Was I exasperated and rolling my eyes? Smiling and gently teasing? Acidly sarcastic? Or maybe just eating toast and reaching for the bear-shaped bottle?

As a reader, you have no idea unless the words around that phrase cue you into my written tone.

That's great advice. In fact, all of it is great advice. Not to mention, a treat to read. Go for it here: "7 Ways to Improve Your Writing … Right Now". Also scan the "popular articles" list provided alongside. Take a look at "11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing". Read "How Twitter makes you a better writer". Compare this post with mine: "Two benefits of Twitter I can think of".
  • Are you curious to know more about James Chartrand? Would you like to know why James Chartrand wears women's underpants? Check out this post.