Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library


The Writing is in the Rewriting. Seven Steps to Getting it Right


Writers who are so fluent, facile and sure-footed that they can write their stuff down and that's the way it runs are rare.

Ernest Hemingway rewrote the last paragraph of THE SUN ALSO RISES 28
times before he got it right. David Ogilvy confessed that he'd done as many as
19 drafts on a single piece of copy before presenting it to anyone.

What we're talking about here is good writing for easy reading. Writing that
doesn't puzzle the stranger, but clearly conveys the meaning the writer intends.

It's a sweaty proposition, this rewriting, because it demands that we serve as
our own critic, editor and teacher. And that means being able to spot the
problem areas before we can even begin the revising, polishing and cutting.

Here are seven questions you must ask about your copy before you begin
another round.

1. Are your sentences short enough?

Experts say that a "short" sentence is anything under 17 words. That doesn't
mean you can't write longer sentences, just don't fill up the pages with them.
Too many long sentences slow the reader down; a good mixture of sentence
lengths acutally heightens interest.

2. Is your sentence structure varied?

Starting every sentence with "a" or "the" makes your writing read like "duh."
Varying the beginning of your sentences with nouns, adverbs and -- even an
occasional conjunction -- keeps your reader from getting bored.

3. Have you been too passive?

Use the active voice, instead of the passive. Make it a habit. It makes your
writing more direct, more energetic. And, usually, your sentences shorter.

4. Are your verbs active?

Action verbs rule. Use verbs that describe physical or mental activity instead of
a state of being. "Our widgets outshine the competition" is more vigorous than
"Our widgets are of the highest quality."

5. Are you using little modifiers excessively?

Nouns and verbs that are specific give good writing toughness and color. So
use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. And remember what your Strunk&White
says about modifiers like "rather," "very," "little," and "pretty" -- "...these are
the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words."

6. Is your phrasing too fat?

Vigorous writing is lean writing. Put your sentences on a diet by cutting
unnecessary words: reduce your paragraphs by eliminating unnecessary
sentences. Get rid of expressions like "the fact that," especially when "since"
or "though" will do. Look for places where you can express a thought in one
sentence instead of two.

7. Does your beginning lead to an end?

All copy should have a clear beginning, middle and end. The shortest pieces as
well as the longest. Begin with a lead sentence that captures the essence of the
piece, then jump right into the action. Make sure the middle section is tight and
well organized. Keep like items together. If you're comparing cars and trucks,
describe the cars first, then the trucks. The end of your piece should have a
crisp closer or zinger and contain a call to action or quote. For instance, an apt
ending here might be something like this from Dickens: "All writing is
misery."

Burek Group 2003

Thank you for your intrerest in this article.
You may freely publish it in print or
on the Web as long as you include the byline and credits. Also, please advise
me of publication by mailto: walter@walterburek.com


About the Author

Walter is an professional advertising copywriter who writes, edits and
publishes "WORDS@WORK", a FREE bimonthly newsletter of advice and
about writing that works. To view his award-winning portfolio and to
subscribe, visit http://www.walterburek.com You may also subscribe via
mailto: WordsAtWork@comcast.net


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd