Editors fine-tune your writing.
Your nonfiction writing will shine when you include principles of Plain English.
If you run a business, you probably know that customers appreciate clear communication. They want to be able to find important information quickly – for example, about products and services, how to find you or how to return an item they’ve bought. Direct, concise and jargon-free text saves them time, frustration and effort. It gives your customers a better experience of working with you.
But what are the benefits for you – and your company? How can writing in plain English help you achieve your business goals, such as making a profit or building your brand? Is communicating clearly anything more than ‘doing the right thing’?
Using plain English can help your business in three main ways:
- It saves money
- It saves time
- It builds your reputation
It saves money
– and it makes money, too.
If your marketing materials, letters and newsletters present information clearly, your customers are more…
View original post 838 more words
Ways to reduce stuffiness in business and nonfiction writing.
Perhaps it’s time to check your writing – and ask for help if you need help coming up with non-stuffiness.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has joined the Campaign Against the Passive Voice. He follows in the footsteps of Strunk and White (whose section on the passive voice, while more nuanced than many people recognise, is calamitously misleading) and of George Orwell (who complained about the passive while using it extensively himself, even in the same sentence as his complaint).
The campaign isn’t wholly wrong, but it goes too far and it doesn’t properly understand the problem. The passive voice is often better than the active, and its overuse is usually a symptom of something else.
What’s the difference?
Roughly: in the active voice, the agent performing the action is the grammatical subject of the sentence and the recipient of the action is the grammatical object. The passive voice switches this around, making the recipient of the action the grammatical subject and the agent the object. Passive verbs are formed…
View original post 1,106 more words
Useful insights primarily for fiction writers, although we nonfiction writers and editors will learn something too.
Enjoy … and share your comments.
Image Source: Dictionary.com
According to EtymOnline.com, alright was attested in print by 1884.
Writers argue about its use. Some insist it’s appropriate, while others stand on the no-nada-nix-never soapbox.
Who is correct? This post will try to clear the confusion.
What do the experts say?
I searched several sources and found the following results.
No, alright is unacceptable.
– Painless Grammar, by Rebecca Elliott, PhD
– The Chicago Manual of Style
– AP Stylebook
– Lapsing into a Comma, by Bill Walsh
All right is the only form listed.
– The Synonym Finder, by J. I. Rodale
– Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr.
Alright is informal or nonstandard and less acceptable than all right.
My hunt through several Ray Bradbury e-books found no instances of alright.
After more research…
View original post 924 more words
Writing and editing are intertwined. Tips to help you understand how.
Will this help your nonfiction writing?
Using headings in your nonfiction writing helps both the writing and the reading processes.
So beautifully explained by Australian author, Amanda Curtin, this tutorial will help you on your quest for clear, sharp writing.
In manuscripts—and even in print—I frequently see the following:
Let’s go to the Molloy’s house.
Grammatically, this means:
Let’s go to the house of the Molloy.
Now, perhaps there is a big burly guy out there who is referred to as ‘the Molloy’, as in ‘Give that burrito to the Molloy before he chews someone’s arm.’ In that case, the above would be correct. But what the writer usually means is:
Let’s go to the Molloys’ house.
Let’s go to the house of the Molloys. [a couple, or a family, or the three banjo-playing Molloy sisters]
If, on the other hand, the writer is referring to a particular Molloy:
Let’s go to the house of Molloy. [e.g. Joe Molloy]
then it would be:
Let’s go to Molloy’s house. [singular Molloy; no definite article]
View original post 14 more words
I prefer 'show and tell' rather than giving wordy explanations. Enjoy these examples (with very brief comments) of simple ways you can sharpen your writing - and that will please your readers.
Fiction writers work hard to develop their voice. And it's just as important for business writers.
Learn how a style guide for your business will help keep your writing consistent, clear, engaging and sharp.