With all my busy editing and proofreading for content and book writers, I often have trouble finding the time to write myself (read: procrastinate). So, I’m currently following Nicole Dieker on Spark Notes as she has great tips to boost creative writing skills.
But how can we make ourselves heard with so much content out there in the digital world? Well, it certainly helps if the tone is solid, engaging and informative (check out Ewan’s great writing for how to make important issues humorous and engaging). I have proofread and edited for thousands of clients and it’s really easy to spot a good writer from a great writer (regardless of whether English is a writer’s native language).
So here is my top 10 list of what makes writing easy to read, enjoyable and useful for others:
- Write on a topic you’re passionate about. That really comes through in the written word.
- Use simple words that are easy to understand. Don’t get too fancy or you will alienate some of your readers.
- Keep sentences short. No rambling necessary.
- Watch those apostrophes. It’s confusing if they’re misused; the poor little things.
- Keep your audience in mind with the tone of your writing: formal, fun, fantastical…
- Watch your punctuation; it’s a maker and breaker of all writing.
- Use your spell and grammar check, but beware, they do miss things.
- Ask someone to eyeball your work. It’s surprising what we all miss.
- Watch out for those sneaky similar sounding words (homophones); sounds right word, but is it??? See my post title for an example (write, right?)
- Keep your style consistent; do not switch between US and UK spelling, if you capitalise one word once, follow through.
When in doubt, that’s what an editor can help with. If you’re stuck on how to say something, we can help with that too. We’re not about just getting the scary red pen out; it’s a conversation between an editor and a writer so the writer’s work is the best it can be.
Like this post? Share away! If you have any comments, feel free to get writing.
Until next time,