How to Firm Up Flabby Prose

Written by Beth Mende Conny

Continued from page 1

Don't be dramatic When possible, userepparttar plainest words possible. For example, too often we use "exclaim", "declare" or "chime" when plain ole "said" would do. Said's a great word; it doesn't draw attention to itself. Readers skip over it and concentrate instead on what's being said. Other examples:

* meander/shuffle/saunter = walk * odorous/malodorous/redolent = smelly * mawkish/maudlin/bathetic = sentimental

BTW-Sometimes people don't just walk; they really do meander, shuffle and saunter. Allow them their style, but keep your words in check.

Mix it up Good writing has flow. One sentence rolls intorepparttar 129361 other, creating an ebb and flow of words. Stoprepparttar 129362 flow and you get writing like this:

* I love chocolate. Chocolate is tasty. Chocolate cookies are my favorite. I like chocolate ice cream, too. I like chocolate milk.

An alternative:

Chocolate cookies, ice cream, milk-I love anything chocolate.

Don't worry about punctuation and grammar Big deal if you don't knowrepparttar 129363 difference between who and whom, or when (or when not) to use a colon. Most of us don't, which is why books on punctuation and grammar abound. Use them as you need them.

Hot tip: Find three books written in a style even you understand. When you get stuck, say, on split infinitives, glance through all three for guidance. You'll find that three angles are better than one and almost always providerepparttar 129364 guidance you need.

BTW-According to one of my grammar books, split infinitives are acceptable when writing informally. My other two books say no, no, no. Here, I defer torepparttar 129365 minority.

Beth Mende Conny is the founder and president of She has published more than four dozen books and collections, and helps individuals and businesses bring their projects to publication. She can be contacted at

Getting ideas that sell

Written by Angela Booth

Continued from page 1

For example, let's say that in your day job, you're a nutritionist. You know that diet is a perennially popular topic. You advise dieters on how to eat, and you've garnered a lot of experience in how and why people put on weight, and ways that they can safely dumprepparttar lard.

You decide that you need to learn what people really want to know. So you subscribe to a few discussion groups, and after you've readrepparttar 129360 postings for a few weeks, and have posted responses to some questions, you ask your own questions.

Be straightforward about this. Just admit that you're doing research, and ask for help. Post a questionnaire for people to fill in. (Assure them that their privacy will be respected.)

After a month of this, you'll get ideas for products (articles, books) that will sell.

==> The sure-fire formula for winning, instantly saleable ideas: combine entertainment and information

You need to be clear about what you're selling. With non- fiction, you're selling information. With fiction, you're selling entertainment.

The best way to sell either fiction or non-fiction is to combine both in your writing.

Mix a dash of entertainment with your information. That is, when you're writing an information product, an article or a book, even though it's non-fiction, don't be dull. Check outrepparttar 129361 wildly popular For Dummies series of books: good information, delivered with an entertaining style.

Onrepparttar 129362 other hand, if you're writing fiction, ground it in real life with good information. I'm a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Definitely fiction, but Ms Gabaldon grounds her time-travel historical novels in their era with fascinating facts that makerepparttar 129363 unbelievable plots credible.

***Resource box: if using, please include***

==> Writers: Turn Your Talent Into Dollars <==

Transform your talent into a flourishing business. Subscribe to Creative Small Biz,repparttar 129364 free weekly ezine for creatives. Free e- courses to improve your skills. Visit:

Australian author, journalist and copywriter Angela Booth has been writing professionally for over twenty years. She writes business books and copy for businesses.

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