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

Writing skills training course – Feedback (October 2016)

Want some feedback from delegates?  Unsure whether to book me for some training? Well, I have just delivered a ‘Brush up Your Writing Skills’ training course for Oxford University’s Department of continuing Education (one of six that I do each year).  Eighteen people attended, and their average score for my teaching was 4.6 out of 5 – and the same for my materials.  Here is what people wrote …   A great...

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

Be a better WORDSMITH – 6 Writing Training Courses

Since moving to Oxford in 2010 I have been delivering a host of training courses in writing skills for clients such as Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and Hemsley Fraser, in London. First they each got me to do just one training course … then it was a couple … and now I am their favoured trainer in writing skills. The feedback is also good, so why not book a place and come along to one of the following:...

Read More

Effective headings, titles and openings

Here are some ideas for engaging, enticing and impactful headings to your articles, posts and Social Media updates.   MUST-DOs Summarise the article in a way that draws the reader in Give them what they want to hear – use emotions Keep to a maximum of 4 – 8 words Cut out as many adjectives and prepositions as you can (e.g. and, the, a, of) Be clear and precise Be specific Use numbers, especially non-round and large ones Use...

Read More