“Words are our tools in trade.
They are our medium of communication.
They form a bridge of thought
between the writer’s mind and the reader’s.
To find the right word, is sometimes
to find a treasure.”
Steven Dunham, author of the The Editor’s Companion
Recently, a reader ask me, “Could you share some tips for writing stronger sentences?” During our weekly gathering of Writer’s Writing (a writing group in coastal North Carolina), I asked my colleagues to develop a list of 10 tips to share on the Cool Cat Writers blog:
- Use strong, active verbs to move the writing and reader forward
- Avoid passive voice whenever possible
- Make sure that your subject and verb agree (in person and number)
- Rework sentences to remove extraneous prepositional phrases
- Never end a sentence with a preposition
- Vary the sentence length readers can get lost in long sentences. Using too many short choppy sentences close together inhibit reading flow
- Say what you want to say using the least amount of words – get to the point
- Use short, simple terminology – no dictionary needed
- Never start a sentence with a conjunction—conjunctions are connectors—(examples: and, but, because, as, also, after, although, however, instead, nevertheless, or, otherwise, so, since, than, therefore, though, unless, until, when, while, and yet)
- Avoid vague words (examples: many, most, very, really, just, about, soon, et cetera)
Just keep writing,
Day 12 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge