Day 77 - Writing tips

I'm 75% of the way to the end of the 100 day challenge. So I'd like to create a list of things I have to be consistent about going forward. The purpose is to start practicing writing in a more intentional manner. 

Do Remove

  1. “a bit,” “a little,” “sort of,” “kind of,” “rather,” “quite,” “very,” “too,” “pretty much.”
  2. Dead sentences: If the reader can’t visualize the activity being performed
  3. Anything condescending. “This is so simple! yay for you!”
  4. Words like “surprisingly,” “predictably” and “of course,” overexplaining wastes space and time for a reader
  5. Appended prepositions: "This is the cat that the dog always runs after"  vs. "The dog always chases this cat."
  6. Qualifiers, they chip away at the trust readers have: "I run for a living" vs. "I mostly run for a living"

Do Try 

  1. "To Never forget where you left your reader in the previous paragraph and what they want to know next."
  2. To read everything aloud
  3. To ask what am I trying to say, and then ask did I say it?
  4. To write in the first person
  5. To Leave the reader with one thought, not 2 or three, just one.
  6. To make the first sentence interesting, then the second, and the third equally interesting
  7. To use active verbs
  8. To find a writer to imitate
  9. To use plain declarative sentences. Don't use commas. Each sentence should have one thought.

Adapted from Derek Sivers' notes on William Zinsser's book based on William Strunk Jr's and E.B. White's 'The Elements of Style'

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