26 Feel-Good Words

26 Feel-Good Words

Some writers neglect the power of emotion when communicating their ideas, valuing logic more than others do, and assuming that everyone thinks like they do – that careful reasoning is enough to convince readers and make points. But even the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who was no enemy of reason, taught that stimulating emotion in your audience can be the key to persuading them. I’ve decided that communication, instead of simply inserting information into my reader’s head, is more like…

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10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

1. Prepare Absorb information about writing, but don’t overwhelm yourself. I’ve been known to read a writing handbook or editing manual cover to cover, but I recommend reading one chapter or section at a time and absorbing information from online resources in similarly small doses as well. Our website is a good starting point, as it features thousands of posts about specific grammar, syntax, and style topics as well as vocabulary-building posts and more comprehensive posts about writing, editing, and…

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Polysyndeton: What it Means, and Examples of How to Use It

Polysyndeton: What it Means, and Examples of How to Use It

You might well never have heard of polysyndeton before, but you’ve almost certainly seen it in action. Here’s an example: “At the weekend, we went to the park and the fair and the swimming pool and the movie theatre.” Polysyndeton means repeating conjunctions when you don’t need them. Here’s how The Write Practice defines it: “Polysyndeton is a literary technique in which conjunctions (e.g. and, but, or) are used repeatedly in quick succession, often with no commas, even when the…

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List of Prefixes and Suffixes and their Meanings

List of Prefixes and Suffixes and their Meanings

This post lists prefixes, suffixes, and their meanings. (Many scientific and mathematical prefixes have been omitted.) Groups of one or more definitions after a prefix that are separated by a semicolon stem from different senses of the prefix. Note, too, that some prefixes share the spelling of distinct words (for example, under) or have been coined as distinct words themselves by omitting the base word when that word is implied (for example, hyper). Many prefixes have variants that are used…

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Review: James Patterson’s MasterClass Course on Writing

Review: James Patterson’s MasterClass Course on Writing

If you’ve not come across MasterClass before, it’s a very slick website that offers courses from some huge names in the world of writing (and in quite a few other fields too). Their course tutors include Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, Judy Bloom, Malcolm Gladwell, R.L Stine, and Neil Gaiman: a truly impressive line-up that you’d probably pay a hefty fee to see speak in real life. Each course is structured as a set of short video lessons, and these lessons…

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8 Great Podcasts for Writers and Book Authors

8 Great Podcasts for Writers and Book Authors

There is a lot of writing advice out there. Perhaps you’ve signed up to read lots of blogs by email, you’ve bought some great writing-related books, and you still feel like something’s missing. Or maybe your reading time is limited: you can’t very well scroll through blogs while you’re driving to work, for instance. That’s when podcasts come in. Whether you’re looking for encouragement or instruction, podcasts are a great way to get writing advice (often from award-winning and/or bestselling…

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8 Great Writing Tips for Kids

8 Great Writing Tips for Kids

I’m 33 now (which feels very old!) but I’ve loved writing since I was a kid myself. The very first story I remember writing was about a mouse, when I was five or six. I spent a lot of time writing stories throughout my childhood, and I had a go at my first novel when I was thirteen. Writing has always been one of my favourite things to do … and for the last ten years, it’s been what I’ve…

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Writing Online: 7 Great Opportunities for Freelancers in 2019

Writing Online: 7 Great Opportunities for Freelancers in 2019

If you’re struggling to earn a living as a freelance writer, you’ve probably looked at many opportunities for writing online. The question is, which of them pay well? You’ve probably noticed that writing short blog posts often brings tiny paychecks. What pays better? The good news is, there are types of online writing where pay is better. Based on the input from writers in my 1,100-member freelance-writer community, here’s what will pay well in 2019 (in alphabetical order): 1. Case…

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Writing with Speech Recognition Software

Writing with Speech Recognition Software

A professional writer might add a thousand words a day to their rough draft. With speech recognition software, some writers can add several thousand. That’s one reason why more writers are choosing to dictate their books. Today the error rate of speech recognition software has improved to within a percentage point of a human being. According to IBM, even a human transcriptionist hears the wrong word 4 or 5 percent of the time. IBM reached 5.5 percent in 2017. Google…

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How to Check Cross-References

How to Check Cross-References

A word, phrase, or sentence that directs the reader to related information in the same document (or, in the case of online content, perhaps a different document), whether said document is an article or a book, is called a cross-reference. This post discusses best practices in employing cross-references. In printed or online content, a cross-reference is a text element that introduces the reader to a subsequent element of content, whether text or one or more graphic elements. For example, an…

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