Using Adjectives and Adverbs Effectively

Using Adjectives and Adverbs Effectively

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” — Writerly idiom”The road to purgatory is paved with adjectives.” — A former writing colleague of mine Great writing is tight writing. One of the most frequent comments I make to clients is...
Verbal Microexpressions

Verbal Microexpressions

If you’ve studied psychology (or ever watched Lie to Me), you’ll know that microexpressions are split-second facial expressions that we’re not aware of making, but which reveal our true feelings about a given conversation. Although most people can’t consciously...

Ditch the Jargon

The other day, a friend sent me a job posting from a well-known technology company. The first sentence included the phrase “creates top-of-the-funnel content to drive form completes, engagement and establish thought leadership status.” I nearly broke out in hives. My...

Show, Don’t Tell (for Business)

One of the fundamentals of narrative writing is “show, don’t tell.” People retain stories and scenes better than they do a list of facts. Stories resonate more deeply with readers, creating more of an emotional engagement with the material at hand. For example,...
Killing Your Darlings Painlessly

Killing Your Darlings Painlessly

As writers, we work painstakingly to craft beautiful sentences, paragraphs and stories. And then there comes a time when an editor says we need to cut 1200 words, or a client wants us to “tighten it up,” and the horror of having to delete those beautiful pieces often...
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