Communication drives the world. Only the dead do not communicate. We communicate through words or signs; words can be written whereas signs can be drawn. Even though humanity has been communicating since inception, a major part of the population still consists of ineffective or bad communicators.
The Internet has radically changed the way we communicate with each other. Communication on the Net is largely driven by written content. So in order to be an online success, one needs to develop excellent writing skills.
But how do you do that? Read on…
That sounds like a cliché itself. But it seems people don’t get it, else we wouldn’t be coming across phrases like “Good old days”, “back to square one”, “toe the line”, “beat around the bush” and many, many others repeatedly.
These phrases have been used so often that people have become too comfortable with them. The result? They no longer evoke the emotions they may have evoked when they were originally used. The solution… put your imagination to work and try to come up with fresh phrases that evoke the emotions you desire.
Don’t write “verbose” when “wordy” will do
Never use long or highbrow sounding words when want you want to say can be conveyed by simple ones. The most obvious result could be that your intended reader would not understand you; and if you don’t understand the right usage yourself, then you may goof up big time and use it in a wrong context.
Don’t use three sentences to write something that can be conveyed in one. Practicing this habit would fill your writing with maximum meaning. On the reader’s end, it would take less time and effort to comprehend. The result… more people would read it completely.
The literary master Faulkner once accused the renowned novelist Hemmingway of having a limited vocabulary. Hemmingway countered by saying, “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”
The same goes for the use jargons and foreign phrases. Your mantra should be “simplify”.
Keep it moving
Use active verbs whenever you can. So instead of writing “The computer was switched on by John”, write “John switched on the computer.” Get the picture?
Nothing is perfect, not even the above rules
Use your common sense. If everybody followed these rules to the T, we would have unending piles of content that would be like beautiful dead bodies. Once you understand the tricks of effective writing and get a feel for it, don’t be afraid of breaking them once in a while.
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