🖊️ Table of Contents 🖊️
- Foundational Rules for Good Writing
- 1. Begin with your end-user (aka reader) in mind
- 2. Start important sentences with a doing word
- 3. Never use "we" or "our" when you can use "you"
- 4. Avoid excessive punctuation
- 5. The Road to Hell is Paved with Adverbs
- BONUS RULE: Just like music and any form of art, good writing needs soul.
Foundational Rules for Good Writing
1. Begin with your end-user (aka reader) in mind
Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your (busy) readers — then cut the self-promotion, and get to the point.
What's keeping your ideal reader up at night?
Do they have the time to read your overly lengthy email?
Why should they GAF about the words you're writing?
Make 'em care from sentence one. And keep it BRIEF! 🐎
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2. Start important sentences with a doing word
All the most memorable sentences begin with verbs.
3. Never use "
we" or " our" when you can use "you"
In the words of David Smooke, "people are selfish and self-driven."
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4. Avoid excessive punctuation
— and especially avoid exclamation marks.
5. The Road to Hell is Paved with Adverbs
When you re-read your writing pre-publication, delete:
- ❌ all unnecessary adjectives;
- ❌ the words "that" and "very";
- ❌ and all words ending in "-ly".
BONUS RULE: Just like music and any form of art, good writing needs soul.
A story can follow all this advice, and still suck.
A story can break all this advice, and still be a masterpiece.
So last but not least: Know the rules, so you can break them with confidence. ✊