You asked. I listened. Here’s my latest blog post, Spunky Writing Hints, a new category.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR AUDIENCE.
What do you most want them to get from this writing? Practice saying it in one sentence: “This is the tastiest apple pie you’ll eat in Naples, Italy, or Oshkosh, Wisconsin.”
JUMP RIGHT INTO YOUR TOPIC.
NOT: I think collaboration is good but…”Collaboration expands useful ideas. Two heads or more are better than one because…”
BE SUCCINCT, EVEN IN STORYTELLING.
Your grandmother’s immigration story may be fascinating to you, but if it has nothing to do with your topic leave it out.
USE DECLARATIVE SENTENCES. CELEBRATE STRONG VERBS.
Contemplate the once-solid ice cream container exploding in the microwave.
Really, actually, honestly, always make you sound like you’re lying. That’s what Stephen King says.
“Collaborate” or “connect” must mean something; otherwise they’re too general. If you’re in love with a buzzword go for a longer explanation that’s more personal.
NOT: Connect with your friends but…Surprise happy hour, 4 p.m. today at your favorite wine joint! Show off your newest shoes and/or recite a life-affirming quote.
STILL NEED AN EDITOR? I’M AVAILABLE!
“Thanks to Sheila Wilensky for smoothing out my sentences!”
— Gwen Harvey, author “Esperanza Means Hope”