I know that “guest blogger day” on this year’s blogathon isn’t for a couple more weeks, but I wanted to share this post that Laura Cross graciously gave me permission to feature on my blog.
Without further adieu, today’s post comes from fellow freelancer Laura Cross. I follow Laura’s blogs daily and I enjoy the way she always has good tips for writers. I hope my readers will enjoy Laura’s tips for creating an engaging writing style.
FIVE WAYS TO CREATE AN ENGAGING WRITING STYLE
In writing, “style” is the way you deliver your message – it’s the words you choose, the tone you use, and the way you structure sentences. Many successful practical-nonfiction books deliver their messages in a clear, concise, friendly, warm, and encouraging manner. Here are five ways to achieve a winning writing style:
1. Use Conversational Style
Write as if you were speaking to a good friend. Use informal, personal, casual words that create a comfortable trust and connect with the reader. Incorporate personal stories, anecdotes, and humor when appropriate.
2. Avoid Judgmental Language
A reader wants an author who understands and sympathizes with her problem – whether the reader needs to learn how to manage money, be a better parent, market her business, or lose 20 pounds. Avoid using judgmental stigmatizing language. Focus on what the reader can do to make good choices and improve her situation.
3. Be Reassuring and Positive
How-to and self-help readers often lack confidence. They may feel insecure about their ability to achieve the desired results. Keep your writing upbeat and optimistic. Reassure your readers that by using your program, techniques, instructions, method, or information they can reach their goals. Let them know it’s easy and many others “just like them” have achieved success. Always be supportive and create a sense of hope.
4. Address the Reader Directly
Personalize your sentences. Whenever possible, address the reader as “you.” Readers searching for answers and solutions to their problems want to hear about themselves – they want you to speak to “them” directly.
5. Keep It Simple
Clear and concise writing is the most effective. Keep your sentences short and simple – use words the average person can easily understand. Avoid technical terms when possible and always define words that may be new to the reader.
YOUR TURN: What are some of the techniques you use to create an engaging writing style?
Laura Cross is an author, screenwriter, ghostwriter, freelance book editor, and writing coach specializing in nonfiction books and script adaptation (book-to-film projects). She writes two popular blogs, http://www.NonfictionInk.com and http://www.AboutAScreenplay.com, and teaches online writing workshops http://www.ScenarioWritingStudio.com/workshops. Her latest book is The Complete Guide To Hiring A Literary Agent: Everything You Need To Know To Become Successfully Published.