Punctuation explained – Simply

The paragraphs below explain each of the main types of punctuation.  But the punctuation is missing.  By doing this exercise you will therefore learn not only where and what type of punctuation to use, but also get practice in using it.  My suggested answers are given at the foot of the blog. Commas are used in lists of things to clarify meaning after introductory words and phrases like however (at the start or mid-sentence) when providing...

Read More

Dangers of emails/emailing … They are a P-E-S-T

Dangers of emails/emailing … They are a P-E-S-T

Here is my P-E-S-T of emails and emailing P ressure of workplaces makes us over hasty when sending emails – or not check and work, and therefore make mistakes. E motions are hard to convey in text, and can easily be misread by readers who don’t know us etc.  So, don’t email when annoyed, nor late at night/end of the week.  Second, be careful of writing overly strong views (e.g. ‘best’, ‘worst’) and...

Read More

Books I enjoyed in 2016

One way to improve your writing skills is to read quality, well written books.  Here are a few books that I read and enjoyed in 2016.  They come with my recommendation (I ditched about half as many again).  Let me know what you think of them. Apart from the Graeme Burnet book (which was on the Booker Prize shortlist), none are that new … but they are all worth reading. Amongst Women – John McGahern Beginning of Spring –...

Read More

Effective Editing – My 5 A’s for better editing

Here are my 5 A’s of how to edit more effectively: Accept that editing is a normal and necessary part of the writing process.  Quality writing takes time – not even great writers get it right straight away.  I often tell people they should be prepared (and it is normal) for editing to take 20-30% of the total time for getting a text written and completed. Antennae – To heighten you awareness, read your text aloud, read it...

Read More

When editing …

Editing is an essential part of any writing job – it is entirely natural to require more than two drafts.  Who gets a piece of writing right first time?  So here are 5 general tips to guide you in your editing. 1.) Give editing sufficient time I often say to people that they should expect editing to take 20–30% of the total time they take to write something.  Why so much?  Because we don’t get the words out right first time, we...

Read More

Writing is like PAINTING

  When preparing a few things to say for a talk recently, I realised that writers need to be able to switch from reviewing an overall document to checking its micro details – and to be good at both. Then I realised it was a quality also needed by painters … and then I realised there are a few other parallels between writers and painters, such as being willing to experiment, having perseverance, etc.  And THEN … guess what; I...

Read More