Saturday, December 06, 2008

Professional Writing - 5 Easy Tricks

by Angela Booth

New to professional writing? Writers learn many professional tricks over the years: use these five to boost your career.

1. Write Like You Speak: You're Communicating, Not "Writing"

Aim for simplicity and clarity. The more transparent your writing, the better. This means you should aim to write the way you speak: in a conversational tone. Even with formal writing, a conversational tone is best.

Not sure whether your tone is conversational? Read the document aloud, into a voice recorder. Replay it. The first few times you do this, you may not be certain you've achieved a real conversational tone, so read the document aloud to a friend, or send him the recording.

You should also avoid jargon, unless you're writing for an audience which expects it.

2. Just Say It: Cut the Verbiage

Say what you mean. Go through your document, and cut all adjectives and adverbs. You won't miss them.

Be alert for tautologies: saying the same thing twice. For example: "free gift" (a gift is, by definition, free), "on a daily basis" (just write "daily"), and "new innovation" (innovations are always new).

The more direct your writing, the better.

3. Spelling Counts, and So Does Your Grammar

Everyone makes the occasion typo; it's inevitable. However, in any documents which will be read by others, use spell check. Read important documents aloud; this often helps you to catch spelling and grammatical errors.

4. Build Your Vocabulary: Read More

A professional writer's trade is words, so all writers read constantly, both for their work, and for fun.

Not only does a reading habit help you to build your vocabulary, it also helps you to increase your knowledge. The more you know, the more you can apply your knowledge in your writing.

A wide knowledge helps you to get more, and more highly paid, writing jobs.

5. Use One Exclamation Mark Per 50 Pages

If there's one bad habit which screams amateur writer, it's the habit of using gratuitous exclamation marks -- "!". Please, if you're not writing a comic book, don't use exclamation marks at all.

Not only are exclamation marks rarely necessary, they distract the reader.

Here's a rule to follow: use one exclamation mark per 50 pages. Which is a veiled way of saying: never use them.

Use these five professional writing tricks to immediately increase your writing skill.

Want to make money writing? Discover how easy it is to make money as a Web writer with Angela Booth's "Sell Your Writing Online NOW" Training Program at http://sellwritingnow.com/Home/training.html The program is fun and profitable too. There's a full year of lessons and assignments:"Sell Your Writing Online NOW" helps you to earn while you learn, even as a brand new writer.

For free weekly writing information, subscribe to Angela's Fab Freelance Writing Ezine at http://www.freelancewritingezine.com/ and receive "Write And Sell Your Writing: The Power-Write Report" immediately.

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