Every sentence you put down on paper (or on a computer screen) identifies who you are and/or what your business offers. Poor writing, grammatical errors, and typos all deflect from the professionalism you want to generate and the image you want to create. The following tips are meant to help guide you, so your writing is clean, crisp, and clear.
1. Use the active rather than passive voice
This steadfast rule for professional writing is especially important for authors of both fiction and non-fiction. However, the advice is good for all writers creating any form of narrative, copywriting, or web content. Voice shows whether the subject performs (active) or receives (passive) the action of the verb. Instead of saying, “The film was watched by a large audience, say, “A large audience viewed the film.” The use of the active voice allows for a more direct and aggressive type of writing.
2. Avoid linking verbs
Rather than saying, “She was honest and genuine” you could say, “Her proven honesty made her even more genuine.” Add more power to the punch by staying away from linking verbs, such as is, was, seemed, or had. As soon as you are tempted to begin a sentence with there is, it was, or he had (for example), try coming up with a new approach, such as the one above.
3. Try not to use the word ‘very’
In most cases, the sentence will sound better without it. Most likely, you’ll notice if you decide to remove it, you won’t miss it.
4. Limit the word ‘that’
Its overuse in today’s writing is abundant. Example: see the last sentence, in number three above. I could have chosen to write: most likely, you’ll notice that if you decide to remove it, you won’t miss it. You can see the word is not necessary
By the way, I just created another sentence without that (in the previous sentence).
5. Write to the reader
If you are writing to sell, be sure to use the word you more than the word I or we. You want the reader to identify with what you are saying.
6. Stay away from cliches and colloquialisms
Experts recommend limiting the use of them. Occasional use is okay, but I have seen writers who tend to write every sentence that way. Some examples to avoid include: chill out, pissed off, as fate would have it, on top of the world, bored to death, etc.
7. Keep sentences short
Rather than writing a long, run-on sentence of connected phrases, chop it up. Cut it into several short sentences or use the em dash (see below), and you’ll see the readability will improve.
If you follow these rules, your writing should improve dramatically. You may even get more business – because you will be keeping the reader’s attention instead of losing a sale.
About the Author:
“Your Publishing Guru”
Owner, A Flair For Writing: http://www.aflairforwriting.com