Write like you speak? Yay or nay.

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Writing Etc. – December 3, 2013

ISSN: 1545-5580

Make Your Writing Sparkle. Write Killer Queries, Get Published.

Join the brightest, most ambitious, and talented group of writers on the ‘net.

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In This Issue:

Notes from Minnesota: Bad luck/good luck. Is it a matter of perspective?

Write like you speak? Yay or nay.

2013 Action Plan to Jumpstart Your Writing Career

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Notes from Minnesota:

Welcome to December! I’m expecting up to six inches of the white stuff. Good thing I’ve got a cup of hot chocolate in my future. I love watching seasons change.

So… I just celebrated my six month cancerversary. I was chatting with my son, musing about what a bad-luck year 2013 turned out to be. He disagreed.

“Mom,” he said, “do you realize if they hadn’t caught your tumor, today your cancer would be spreading? In just over a year from now, you would have been inoperable? Just think, I could be planning my mom’s funeral before I turned thirty.”

I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t thought of that. I guess 2013 turned out to be one my luckiest years ever.

Which brings me to you.

You’re not immortal, either. Are you writing? Are you pursuing your dream? I had a big brush with the grim reaper this year and it changed a few things.

Today, I work on projects I enjoy and jettison the annoying ones.

I don’t write for reviews. I keep my reader in mind, but I write what’s on my heart, not what I think people will give a big “thumbs up.”

I play with my dogs more. I drink hot cocoa with my family. I hug my nieces and barely notice when they deposit an ooie-gooie on my shirt. (Well, I notice but I just clean up without a fuss.) 🙂

When bad luck strikes, I don’t immediately label it as such. I just may find a gem in that bit of news.

What would you do if you only had a couple years left? If I were you, I’d suggest working on it today. Right now. Life can get quite interesting in a New York minute.

Onward and upward,

Beth

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Write like you speak? Yay or nay.

By Beth Ann Erickson

I’ve often advocated the mantra “write like you speak.” By doing so, writers can theoretically communicate in a natural style, create messages where words become invisible and communication is king. It’s supposedly a way to allow the writer’s personality shine, allow their unique style to sit up front and center.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

However, something has changed these past few years. Lately I’ve been presented with a number of projects that resemble this guy’s speaking style. Note: overt flirting ensues. If you’re offended, you may want to skip this one. May I introduce you to Ricky:

While they’re presumably under the impression that their speaking style (hence their writing style) resembles this person’s oratory skills. Here’s Tommy Lee Jones:

Now… I’m not sure what has happened to our fair profession, but sheesh…. It’s one thing to communicate in a conversational style, it’s another to spill words onto a page without nary a thought to word choice, logical flow, and just a few grammar rules.

Which leads me to my point: I’m updating my advice to writers. Please write in an intelligent conversational manner.

Here’s an example of this new technique: Suppose you just had an argument with your spouse. You’re angry. You’re not eloquent. You’re stuttering, stammering, trying to drive home your point. After the altercation completes, you walk away and for the next few hours, you’re ruminating over the event, constructing the BEST sentences, FABULOUS arguments, bullet proof points ever imagined.

Those thoughts are the ones you want to capture on paper.

In the heat of the moment, we all sound like a doofus. But your eloquent self emerges during those moments of self-reflection. That’s the person you want to be in print.

So… proofread. Read all your writing aloud before you submit. If you stumble, you’ve written a sentence that’s too complex. Revise. If your mind wanders, you’ve likely written something boring. If you need a breath before the end of the sentence, shorten it.

Cut all extraneous tangents that don’t adequately support your message.

Make your writing as streamlined, readable, and eloquent as possible. Write conversationally, but do so illustrating your communication style at its best.

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Want a ton more ultra-effective techniques that’ll give you an incredible edge in the over-crowded freelance world? Click this link .http://filbertpublishing.com/Advice13.html

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2013 Action Plan to Jumpstart Your Writing Career

This week I want you to eaves drop. Listen to the people around you as they speak. Analyze their communication style. What do you like, what could they improve? Listen to yourself, become aware of your tenancies, dialect, and habits (good and bad).

Make note of when you find a “Ricky” versus when you encounter a “Tommy Lee Jones.” Perhaps you possess qualities of one or the other. Make note of this.

It’s a fun exercise. Try it.

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To subscr*ibe to Writing Etc. and receive the fr*e e-book, “Power Queries,” surf here:

http://filbertpublishing.com

Forward Writing Etc. to all your friends! They’ll be glad you did.

You can easily manage your subscription to Writing Etc. by clicking the links at the end of this e-mail.

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You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

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