Tag Archives: Writing tips

9 ways to ace your endings

So, you’ve crafted an interesting opening to your story, article, blog post or other writing. You’ve taken readers through the details and why the piece is important. Don’t let your writing screech to a halt as if you’ve hit a dead end sign. “From our earliest years, we learn that stories have endings, however predictable,” […]

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Find your focus in the nut graf

You’ve found a terrific opening to your story or article. Readers are interested and willing to keep reading to find out more. Where do you take them next? The “nut graf” almost always follows the lead (also called a lede) and explains the news value of the story. Poynter says it’s called the nut graf […]

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8 ways to reel in your reader

Novelists, journalists and corporate communicators have this in common: We all want readers to read our writing. An effective headline sets the stage, but how we open the story or article invites readers in, or sends them scurrying for the door. How do you start? Here are eight ways: 1. Find the most interesting point […]

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Your “About” page is the place to get personal

What are your passions? How long have you been in business and why did you start? If you have a business or personal website, sharing more about what makes you tick helps your visitors feel they know you, leading them to like and trust you. That’s why your “About” page is so important. If you’re […]

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Avoid confusion by keeping it simple

“What does eponymous mean?” I’m usually your go-to gal for the meaning of words, but this one stopped me. I knew I should be able to explain the meaning, but the question sent me to the dictionary. Good for you if you know “eponymous” is an adjective relating to the person/thing for whom/which something is […]

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More do’s and don’ts for captions that hook your reader

Words are my business, but I realize that a stunning photo or clever infographic can often make a point faster than plain text. The August issue of my monthly newsletter, Wordnerdery, shares tips for writing effective captions (also called cutlines) that hook readers and pull them into the story once the visual has caught their […]

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Leads like flashlights and more great quotes about writing

While collecting bits of expressive writing, I also write down words of wisdom about writing itself. Here are a few examples: “John McPhee calls the lead the flashlight that shines down into the story.” – Roy Peter Clark “Ledes are like Japanese haiku. They have to sing. They are the store window. If the reader […]

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8 ways to get through the approval process

Sometimes, it takes longer for people to read your words than you took to write them. I’m talking about the abyss called the “approval process,” which swallows your articles, reports, web copy and other writing that will – eventually – appear in public. This is fresh in mind after I received an online newsletter with […]

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How to write a great event recap

“Are you just a really amazing note-taker or great with shorthand to get the info you need?” That’s what a colleague asked me recently, wondering how I take down the notes I turn into event summaries (recaps). Shameless flattery accepted. I do often recap events for the associations I belong to, so people who weren’t […]

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Take the dull out of digits

Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) launched an exhibit this week that explores the story of nine rare blue whales that became stranded in thick ice and died. The ROM recovered two of the skeletons after the creatures washed ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014. Blue whales are massive, but even before you get to […]

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