Find help for problem areas in your writing that make your prose seem less than professional.

In addition to being a novelist, I was also a newspaper columnist. My column is "Write it Right." I will post some of my articles here.

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  • How You Say It Matters

    Your prose will tell others a lot about you. Your writing may be too wordy. Or, maybe it’s a little sparse. The latter is best. You’ve heard the advice, Write lean! It simply means to go over your written work and cut words that duplicate what’s already said. For the purposes of this article I focus on the first sentence viewers see when examining your book or viewing your online promotional sentences.

    Here is an example of a promotion sentence using my own book, Write It Right:

    Write It Right is a book about writing tips for authors.

    Can you see the error in that sentence? Can you determine the redundancy?

    When someone reads the first sentence that describes your book, chances are they have already found your book online or in a bookstore. They see your book in front of them. Why would it be necessary to tell anyone that Write is Right is a book…? The viewer already knows it’s a book.

    The title tells us this book offers information about the craft of writing. Why would we include the three words …is a book… when we already know it’s a book we’re seeing?

    When you wish to promote any book and publication, the word about is not necessary. That entire sentence above could be improved. Here are two examples:

    Write It Right offers help for all writers
    Write It Right can help you clean up your prose.

    In the case of my reference book, the whole title reveals what’s inside:

    Write It Right – Tips for Authors

    The use of a colon or a comma instead of the dash would be okay to substitute when space is severely limited.

    But focusing back onto the first sentence, I wouldn’t think of using:

    Write It Right – Tips for Authors is a book about….

    When one of the first things a potential buyer sees is a plethora of unnecessary verbiage, it’s natural to think what’s inside the book is also full of redundancy.

    In every part of your book promotion where first impression counts the most, make sure your presentation looks professional and not like something thrown out there thinking it will be understood.

    NOTE: My mega-reference volume, Write It Right – Tips for Authors, is chocked full of writing advice that’s easily understood. Examples of problems and solutions are provided. I welcome comments and questions should you have specific points for which you need clarification.
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