From the blog

Improve your Writing Tip #6 - Clichés are boring

May 10, 2013

Clichés are boring! Clichés have been around the block; they’ve run their course. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of something original to say. It’s alright to use them in your first draft, as thinking of a better metaphor may take time and interrupt your flow, but always try to cut them when editing your writing. Your readers don’t want to see a cliché; they want to see a fresh, new metaphor that gets them thinking in different and exciting ways.

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Improve your Writing Tip #5 - Every writer has a "tell"

May 10, 2013

Mark Twain said "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be." He was remarking on the fact that many people will overuse words such as "very". In fact, just as every poker player has a "tell", every writer has a set of words or phrases that they tend to overuse.

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Improve your Writing Tip #4 - Vary your sentence length

May 10, 2013

Varied sentence length is an important feature of good writing. Some sentences should be long, informative, and flowing; others, short and punchy. Passages in which all of the sentences are about the same length can appear boring. If you’ve ever sat in front of a piece of writing and wondered why it seems so boring, chances are if everything else seems right it's because all the sentences are the same length. Sentence length needs to ebb and flow like the tide. Clusters of sentences of the same length can make your writing tepid. Try counting the words in each sentence to see how they vary. If you spot a group of sentences of about the same length, try to vary them.

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Improve your Writing Tip #3 - Favour active verbs

May 10, 2013

Using the active voice instead of the passive voice is the single best thing you can do to improve your writing. The active voice injects a sense of importance and urgency into a piece of writing. Writing full of the passive voice seems dull and lifeless. Many European languages, such as French and Spanish rarely use the passive voice. Sadly, in English, use of the passive voice is more common. This often leads to dull, lifeless writing.

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Improve your Writing Tip #2 - Don't hide your verbs, rejoice in them

May 10, 2013

Verbs are the engine of our writing, they excite, engage and thrust it forward. Verbs should be strong and active. Many writers end up accidentally hiding their verbs. This process (called nominalisation) turns verbs into nouns and adds a weak verb in their place. For example: "We will make an announcement," should read as "we will announce." It’s shorter and the verb is changed from the weak "make" to the much stronger "announce". If you want to find hidden verbs in your writing, look for endings such as: -ment, -tion, -sion, and –ance. Also, be mindful of use of weak verbs such as: give, have, make, achieve, reach, and take. You should be proud of your verbs, they are your tools, always use the right tool and your writing will improve.

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Improve your Writing Tip #1 - Favour strong verbs over adverbs

May 10, 2013

Adverbs are words that add color to a verb. In the sentence "The barrista quickly made a cup of coffee" quickly is the adverb.

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User Patterns

Mar 30, 2013

Pro Writing Aid lets you add your own patterns so that you can flag certain things within your writing. Many organisations use this for creating a 'House Style'. Examples of house style rules are:

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Writing Quotes by Jennifer Weiner

Feb 21, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Jennifer Weiner

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Writing Quotes by Alice Hoffman

Feb 17, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Alice Hoffman

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Writing Quotes by John Sayles

Feb 13, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by John Sayles

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Writing Quotes by Jeffrey Archer

Feb 09, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Jeffrey Archer

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Writing Quotes by Marilyn Hacker

Feb 05, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Marilyn Hacker

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Writing Quotes by Jeffery Deaver

Feb 01, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Jeffery Deaver

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Writing Quotes by Michael Pollan

Jan 28, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Michael Pollan

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Writing Quotes by Geddy Lee

Jan 24, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Geddy Lee

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Writing Quotes by Donna Tartt

Jan 20, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Donna Tartt

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Writing Quotes by Nora Roberts

Jan 16, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Nora Roberts

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Writing Quotes by Orson Scott Card

Jan 16, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Orson Scott Card

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Writing Quotes by Mark Haddon

Jan 12, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Mark Haddon

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Writing Quotes by Laura Hillenbrand

Jan 08, 2013

A collection of Writing Quotes by Laura Hillenbrand

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