Good Writing Tips – from The Guardian

GREAT writing tips below, from an article ‘Take the First Step’ by the novelist and professor of creative writing, Colum McCann (The Guardian, 13 May 2017) – relevant for writing non-fiction as well as fiction.   Your first line ‘It should plunge your reader into something urgent, interesting, informative.  It should move your story, your poem, your play, forward. It should whisper in your readers’ ear that...

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Additions to my book – Business Writing Tips

I had some useful comments on my book yesterday.  An old work colleague reminded me of three additional things that I could (and should) have included in my book … although, as it happens, they paralleled feedback I had given to some delegates on a training course that I had run earlier in the week.  Read on. Make your document LOOK attractive Yes, the rest of my book is about words – what you say and how you put them together – but it is...

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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...

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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...

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Help with your tone of voice/writing style?

Getting the right tone of voice/writing style is an essential part of writing … Here is an exercise to help you with your writing.  How would you describe these writing styles – there are some prompts below?  (They are all the very start of real reports, although I tinkered with the first one.)  Secondly, what factors influence your decision, and influence a writing’s tone of voice? Keep reading.  There is a surprise right at...

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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 –...

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