WRITING TIPS: Cut to the Chase

file0001884755749WRITING TIPS: Cut to the Chase

Just as elegance in fashion, industrial design or even motorcars is best achieved using the tempered hand of restraint – a ‘less is more’ approach you could say – so should your writing style exhibit a certain directness and lack of baroque embellishments. Unless of course you are the second William Faulkner!
What do you think has the most impact out of the following?
“I arrived and looked around a fair bit and then decided to have a few battles, which I won.”
“I came, I saw, I conquered.”
This is just an example of how a restrained writing hand can produce powerful speech.

Tips for authors

• During the writing process, it’s best to focus on writing, rather than spending time with elaborate formatting. CHANGING FONTS IS PROCRASTINATING, NOT WRITING.
Formatting text is distracting yourself from actually writing.
• Complex formatting in your manuscript can also create problems when the text is imported into the design program used to create a book. The simpler your manuscript format, the fewer problems there will be during the design process.
• When you submit your manuscript for publication, it should be in a Word document or similar, preferably with no images embedded in the file. Embedding images into the Word document will mean the document will be too large and will crash the program.file0001424767906


• If you’re feeling time-poor or unmotivated about your writing, a good plan is to work out exactly how much time you have available to write each week.
• Draw up a writing timetable and stick to the schedule.
• During this ‘writing time’, minimise distractions. Turn off your mobile phone; take your landline off the hook; and most importantly close your Web browser.
• It’s a good idea to tell people who call you regularlyfile000786402730 that at a particular time you’ll be writing, so you don’t feel guilty not answering the phone or responding to messages. After all, if you were sitting in an office at work, you wouldn’t have time for long phone conversations or surfing the net.
• Apply this same work ethic to your writing time to help you meet your goals. Once you’ve established a routine, you’ll find that sitting down to write is just another normal part of your day, like getting up to go to work or brushing your teeth before you go to bed.


Road Rules
Salient words from Mark Peters’ ‘Grammar and Style’:
“Grammar, usage, and mechanics guidelines serve as the rules of the road. As long as everyone follows them, communication proceeds smoothly. Break the rules, and clarity suffers.”file3841271793906

Editing TIP 5

I love H W Fowler’s ‘Modern English Usage’. It was first published in 1926 and is the definitive guide to the complexities of the English language. As an added benefit, there is so much dry humour encased within I’ve often laughed at the quips Mr Fowler makes as he explains the subtleties of the language!

Editing TIP 2

Watch your dialogue like a hawk. Write it like you hear it. A good idea is to go somewhere you can listen to people’s conversations on the bus or train and write down some nuggets to get your dialogue sounding realistic.

Editing TIP 1

When is the sun going to shine? Here’s an important tip to illuminate our writing skills:
So, is it ‘I’ or is it ‘me’?
The temptation is to say: ‘Would you explain that to Matt and I?’ Well, you would be wrong. Why? An easy trick is to omit the other object (in this case, Matt).
You wouldn’t say ‘Would you explain that to I?’
Another common example of where things go awry is ‘It’s just between you and I’. Correct usage is to say: ‘It’s just between you and me’.
Hope you like this one!