The 11 best resources for improving your writing. —including an amazing book that hardly anyone knows about.
(This is part of a series of articles, the first of which is here.) Why you should learn to write clearly—and why so few people are good at it When we ask a website’s visitors why they didn’t buy, they often report that they were confused. They hadn’t understood the words on the site. And visitors can’t buy what they can’t understand. So, with millions of dollars at stake, why are many websites confusing? Because writing intelligibly is harder than it sounds. “Dance music aficionados can argue interminably over which of the legendary singles Frankie Knuckles produced in the late 80s – singles, you can say without fear of contradiction, that played a part in changing the face of pop music for ever – is the best.”
That sentence is free of typos and punctuation errors. Yet most people struggle to understand it, let alone work out what’s wrong with it, or how to fix it. It’s hard to write clearly. This is a disservice. The Sense of Style. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes. I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward.
If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is. Who and Whom This one opens a big can of worms.
What to say. Fiction. Style. Author Advice. Expectancy Violation - interesting. What makes something insightful, informative, interesting, or funny? This is one of the most interesting questions in all of linguistics. Why? Because having a good answer would allow us to much better understand how writing creates value. What’s more, it would enable us to create a framework for analyzing whether or not any specific piece of text does so. In this essay I’ll attempt to answer that question. Once we can objectively say what makes something insightful, interesting, informative, or funny, we should be able to, among other things: Create a search engine that returns results structured in the way that we think.Write textbooks that leverage our intrinsic motivation to learn, making learning more fun and effective.Discover new ideas by understanding the properties of the structures that underlie all ideas.
Let’s begin by taking a look at what makes something interesting. What makes something interesting? The key here is understanding what is meant by an expectancy violation. Conversation in the readers mind - questions. 95 SharesTwitter75Facebook2Google+4LinkedIn1495 Shares× It was John Caples who created the terrifyingly beautiful guidance for marketers: “First you need to enter the conversation going on in your prospect’s mind”.
That’s him in the picture above by the way, along with one of his most famous advertising pieces – written when he was just a rookie at Ruthrauff and Ryan in 1925. First you need to enter the conversation going on in your prospect’s mind. It’s one of those maxims that gets more profound the more you think about it. Have a think for a few seconds yourself – what does it mean for you? In its original context of advertising it told copywriters that if they wanted to get the attention of their prospects they couldn’t force their message on them. Things they were worried about. By starting where your prospect already is you can gently move them to where you’d like them to be. Nobody wants to read your shit. Writing Wednesdays By Steven Pressfield | Published: October 21, 2009 My first real job was in advertising.
I worked as a copywriter for an agency called Benton & Bowles in New York City. An artist or entrepreneur’s first job inevitably bends the twig. It shapes who you’ll become. Advertising teaches its own lessons. Here it is. Nobody wants to read your shit. Let me repeat that. Five ways to improve your writing. Breaking the rules, talking to yourself and killing your darlings “How do you write so clearly?”
Somebody asked me recently. Clearly, me? Do I? Well, yes, I suppose I do, but it’s not because I’ve got some secret that nobody else has access to. I just follow some simple rules.