Dont Make This Huge Writing Mistake!
You can create a great headline, a dynamic first sentence, and a brilliant lead paragraph. But if you can't hold readers during those middle paragraphs, they'll never see your conclusion.
What can you do? Here are seven ways to anchor that wayward reader from your first paragraph to your last:
1. QUESTION ? Ask a question in the last sentence of the opening paragraph. Example: "What did the three little pigs learn when they went out on their own?"
2. ANOTHER QUESTION ? If you don't ask a question as the last sentence of your opening paragraph, try asking it in the first sentence of a few middle paragraphs. Example: "What did Pig # 1 discover?"
3. BACKGROUND ? Bring the reader up-to-date on a problem. Example: "As you might remember from the original fable, the three pigs wandered off in different directions, each with completely different plans."
4. PROMISE ? Offer a few specifics in a paragraph, and offer to reveal more details later. Example: "The three pigs each built separate houses, which we'll discuss in detail later."
5. CLARIFY ? Show the reader that you're about to explain some previously unrevealed data. Example: "If Pig # 1 had built a stronger house, would he be out of danger?"
6. REMIND ? Reinforce points made in earlier paragraphs. Example: "Remember that each pig needed to find a house quickly."
7. LIST ? Make a list of items previously discussed. Example: "Yes, the pigs left their original dwelling for three reasons: (a) Etc., etc."
8. INVOLVE THE READER ? Ask the reader what he or she would do in similar circumstances. Example: "What would you do if your house fell down, and a wolf began to chase you?"
Bottom line: A transitional paragraph is like a combination road map and compass. It should keep the reader headed in the right direction and simultaneously point toward a goal.
Rix Quinn covers all sorts of writing techniques in his book "Words That Stick: A Guide to Short Writing with Big Impact." It's available in your local bookstore, or http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/
Sometime one must coax the words out.
How To Break Into Print Publishing
The big question. Do you submit directly to the publishers, or doyou find an agent who will do that for you? Based on anecdotalevidence I've heard, it can work either way. The bottom line is,if a publisher reads what he can sell, he'll buy it. It doesn'tmatter if it comes from an author or an agent. The trick isgetting him to read it. That's always your focus.
How You Can Become a Certified and Profitable Proofreader
A certified proofreader is one that has taken a few courses and learned the proper way to do proof reading work. It is essential that individuals who want to become proof readers, have qualifications that can help them to prepare work that is of high quality. There are many different things that you can do to get this security in your work, but for a proofreader getting to be certified is a solid step in the right direction.
Why I Write Horror
These are some of the snapshots I carry with me:
Finish Your Book Already!
I owe the completion and success of my book to a big cardboard box that saw me through the entire process. I found this box and filled it with any and all information I could find on my topic 'advanced presentation skills for speakers and business presenters.' I printed out articles I had written, listened to tapes and read every single book on presentation skills that has ever been published. I have a huge library filled with these books, which are a great thing to have. I took notes and pulled out the best information from each text, finding a way to work it into my own. This is not plagiarism. Some information is too important not to use, so you reword it and use it as substantial background information, giving credit in your bibliography.
An Inside Look at Proofreading
This is the ideal topic for us all to think about. We do it everyday, especially those of us that use the Internet the majority of the time. Web pages, business letters, articles, news releases, documentation and most certainly, advertisements.
Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?
This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For me, the worst working scenario is when a few weeks go by and all my work comprises one-off jobs for small clients who never become repeat customers.
You Dont Need Inspiration!
Or do you?
10 Secrets For Writing Killer Complaint Letters
Complaint letters aren't always fun, but sometimes they needto be written. In many cases, if people don't complain, the problem agency at fault (i.e. company or government) won'teven know that the problem that you and others may haveexperienced even exists.
What is Screenwriting?
Simply put, it is the art of writing scripts for a visual medium. Unlike a play where the action is "talked out," the action within a screenplay is "acted out" visually. The old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" was never more appropriate in relation to screenwriting. Having had the benefit of reading many screenplays as a reader, one of the most annoying, teeth grinding, nails against a chalkboard, signal of bad screenwriting is when the reader is told something instead of shown something. For example, I can't put a number on the amount of screenplays I've read with descriptions like this:
Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals
Freelance writer STANLEY BURKHARDT has a passion for animals. He loves animals so much, he crafted himself a new career. For the last eight years, Stanley has made a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals -- and getting paid for it.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 5 of 6
Writing Helpful Help ? A Minimalism Checklist
User documentation is all too often written by programmers for programmers. It tends to focus on the product's features, rather than the user's tasks. Generally, programmers aren't in the ideal position to be writing user documentation. They're too close to the bits and bytes, and they're too far from the user. To them, what the product can do tends to be far more important than what the user can do with the product.
Writing For the Joy of It
As a child, I loved to write. I can't remember ever not writing.
Writing the 8 WebCopy Headline Categories
My article this issue is an excerpt from a book I was readingrecently titled; The Copywriters Handbook by Robert Bly, asecondary small niche I focus on a bit. It categorizes thedifferent types of headlines which are most common and in usetoday.
Dont Rely on Your Spellchecker - or - The Importance of Good Proof Reading
Weather posting a page to your Website, writing a letter to a customer, or submitting an article for publication, it is extremely important to demonstrate how professional you are. Not only does a series of spelling and grammatical errors show a discourtesy to your readers, it makes you look amateurish. Potential customers will lose any trust they may have had in your business. Only a week or so ago, I read a classified ad asking me to visit their "sight" - needless to say I did not bother. If someone does not take care over their advertising, how reliable is the rest of their business?
I Am Biodegradable - My Writing Is Not
My dad was wrong. I just discovered that I am good for nuthin' after all. In fact I've been good for nuthin' all along. I am 100% biodegradable and that means I can be recycled into nuthin'. It also means that no matter how much I waste, no matter how much I consume, no matter how much I pollute, in the end I am environment-friendly. Best of all, I now have an end use.
Talent or Toil
As in all endeavors, toil is necessary to succeed and more so in writing. Work or its habit is the mother of talent. A writer must labor over his craft until it becomes strength, and the only way the writer can develop this efficacy is by working at it, sitting at one's desk or computer and writing.
How to Pitch a Story
Ever wonder why we refer to convincing an editor a story is worthy by "pitching a story?" I have. I'm a baseball enthusiast, and it makes a lot of sense to me. When the editor is at bat with you, he or she has a few swings to make before making a connection ? through the story idea (ball) that could end up being a base hit or a home run. Naturally, everyone wants to hit a home run when they go to bat with an editor. Sometimes publicists and writers do have to walk to first base for the story assignment. Here are some helpful tips on how to pitch a story to an editor ? and how to at least hit a single, double, or triple ? if not a home run on occasion.
How to Write Your Op-Ed Piece
Op-ed articles, also known as opinion/editorial articles, are a great way for aspiring writers to publicize their work and, in exchange, receive an amazing amount of publicity for free. You can write an op-ed piece and get it publicized provided you follow these simple rules.
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