My Favourite Book About Writing — The Best Book I’ve Ever Read

Ionutz Kazaku
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Are you getting a low read ratio?

The hook, the structure, and the topic are the main key factors which decide how long your audience is going to read your article. Besides those, this 100-year-old writing guide uncovers grammatical & structural secrets which will make your writing even better.

Here are 8 of my favorite writing tips —

Tip #1: One Paragraph — One Topic

I’ve been doing this for all my articles.

Each paragraph should be addressed to one specific topic or idea. A new paragraph shows that you are moving to the next topic. By implementing this rule, the reader won’t get confused, and the flow of the paragraph will be smooth.

The beginning of each paragraph is a signal to him that a new step in the development of the subject has been reached.

Tip #2: Avoid Qualifiers

Words like: “very”, “pretty”, and “less” are qualifiers.

These words are almost always unnecessary. It’s all about vocabulary. Most of the time qualifiers can be replaced with more appropriate adjectives.

Instead of writing: “The article was very interesting.”, write: “The article was engaging” or “The article was captivating”.

Tip #3: Active Voice

Using active voice is more powerful and direct.

“I shall always remember my first visit to Boston.” This is much better than: “My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.” The second sentence is less direct, less courageous, and less concise.

That doesn’t mean we should always ignore the passive voice but, we should definitely limit it.

Tip #4: Avoid Repetition

The reader hates this.

Avoid repeating the same words, phrases, and statements in the same block (for example “Tip # ”), paragraph or sentence. This will interrupt the flow of what you are trying to express which can confuse the reader.

Try to remove or combine some of the words in order to avoid repetition.

Tip #5: Place Important Words at the End

A great tip to make a statement powerful.

The proper place for a word the writer wants to emphasize or make it stick, is at the end of a sentence.

Humanity has hardly advanced in fortitude since that time, though it has advanced in many other ways.
Humanity, since that time, has advanced in many other ways, but it has hardly advanced in fortitude.

The word fortitude being the “important” word.

Tip #6: Use One Tense

A rule I learned at school.

Avoid changing tenses within the same sentence or paragraph, especially when you are summarizing something. Shifting from one tense to the other gives the appearance of uncertainty.

Whichever tense you choose to use, use it throughout the sentence or paragraph.

Tip #7: Keep It Simple

Don’t confuse yourself and others.

One mistake I did at the start of my writing journey was the overuse of “smart” words. I believed that using a broad vocabulary with difficult grammar would make my articles “more professional”, which is bullshit.

The most important part of writing, especially on Medium, is delivering a clear and simple message to the reader.

Tip #8: Words and Expressions Commonly Misused

Here are some common words that are always misused:

  • However — It should never come first at the start of a sentence “However, I didn’t find it quite engaging.” When however comes first, it means in whatever way or to whatever extent.
  • Etc. — At the end of a list introduced by “such as”, “for example”, or any similar expression, etc. is incorrect.
  • So — The word “so” shouldn’t play the role of an intensifier: “so good”, “so warm”, or “so delightful”. Use “so” to introduce clauses.

I shared only 3 words, there are other important examples as well.

I always come back to the highlights and notes of this book because I continue making mistakes.

Manage your reading list with this template.

Thanks for reading :)

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