Smarten up your text with real verbs

Too many businesses use nouns to describe an action. That makes your message harder to read. Here’s how to fix that.

Speaking in plain English is never dumb. In a previous post, I shared a list of words that can be simplified without dumbing it down. A couple examples were “base” instead of “foundation” and “help” instead of “assist”.

But it’s not just the words you use that can make your text harder to read. It’s also the structure of the words.

The poor structure I see most often is replacing verbs with nouns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against nouns. Some of my best friends are nouns.

But nouns describe things.

Verbs describe actions. [Read more…]

Speechwriting tip – harness the Power of Three

Repetition is a powerfully persuasive tool. Here’s how to make any speech (or article or blog post) more persuasive.

My fellow Doctor Who fans will instantly recognize “The Power of Three” as an episode in which Earth was invaded by an infinite number of seemingly identical cubes.

That’s repetition for you.

In speechwriting, or in any persuasive writing, the Power of Three takes on a more practical meaning. You can drive home your point more effectively by saying three short sentences, each one similar, but each one different. [Read more…]

10 New Year’s resolutions for writers in 2019

Welcome to a new year – 2019. It’s a time for fresh beginnings. If you are a writer, here are some New Year’s resolutions for you.

There is nothing special about New Year’s Day. It’s just the day we start counting over.

There is no reason why you can’t make resolutions to change your life today, tomorrow, next week or on June 17.

But, as we start to count over, many people take advantage of that event to also make over their lives. And why not? Any excuse to make ourselves better is a good excuse. [Read more…]

Dumb it down, or clear it up?

When you write in plain English, you are not “dumbing it down”. You are clearing things up.

There are two main ways to make a text easier for everybody to read. One way is to use simpler concepts. This way, even people with little education will understand. Even people unfamiliar with the topic will understand.

For instance, try explaining climate change to someone with very little education. You could talk about the change in temperature and the melting ice caps and the rising oceans and how all this affects El Niño and… no way!

You’ll have to make the explanation itself simpler. [Read more…]

You are the center of the universe

It’s about the reader and only the reader. Use “you” in your text to give the reader ownership of your product or service, or the ideas you are putting forward.

You are the center of the universe. That is because you are the reader right now. As long as you keep reading, you are the center of the universe. Everything in this article is about you, because if you stop reading, I would just be writing in an echo chamber.

On your blog, “you” is also the center of the universe. But on your blog, you are not the “you”. You are just the writer; your readers are the all-important “you”.

If this sounds confusing, consider first why people come to your blog or website. There are several possible reasons: [Read more…]

The 1 trait every ghostwriter needs

Just one thing separates a ghostwriter from other writers. Without this trait, you simply cannot ghostwrite.

A lot of writers get frustrated when their big dream doesn’t come true. Not every writer finds their beat writing fiction. Not every writer becomes a bestseller. Not every writer makes enough as an author to pay the bills.

So they turn to ghostwriting. [Read more…]

Clarity – the key to effective writing

If you are writing non-fiction, clarity counts most. Here are four tips to write clearly.

Before sharing my incredibly useful tips with you, I must begin with two huge caveats.

First, fiction is not like non-fiction. In fiction, the mood is sometimes more important than the facts. But even in fiction, clarity counts. If your readers can’t follow the story well enough, they will get discouraged.

And, even hitting just the right mood, your story will fall flat if they just don’t get it. [Read more…]

These traits will make you a writer

What does it take to be a writer? Here are some traits that can help.

This is the seventh installment in a series that began as just a few random thoughts that I had to publish somewhere. When you gotta write, you gotta write.

If you have what it takes to be a writer, you’ll probably want to read the previous editions, so here they are: [Read more…]

14 useless words to throw away

Sometimes we throw in words that add nothing to the meaning. They make it harder to read your article, book or report. Here are some words you can throw away.

Go straight to the Infographic

Available

This word gets thrown into sentences all the time. Here are two ways it is thrown in for no good reason:

  • “This report is available with…” No, no, no. Instead, you can say “This report has…”. It’s much shorter and to the point.
  • “The line staff processed the available documents.” Hold on…they processed only the available ones? Really? Why didn’t they also process the unavailable ones? You see, there is no reason to specify that they processed the available documents.

Throw it away! [Read more…]

How to save money on ghostwriting

Want to save money on ghostwriting services? Here is your complete guide to getting the best bang for your buck.

There is no question that ghostwriting is expensive. It is a highly skilled, labor-intensive job. But there is a very wide range of pricing. I have known people to pay upwards of $50,000 to have a book ghostwritten. That is not good.

I have also known people to pay very, very little…but that is not good, either. [Read more…]

A tale of abuse and betrayal

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes her book.  The Black Veil of Deceit, transcribed by Marina Kaye, is a true story of abuse and betrayal, escape and recovery.

Marina wrote her book as a healing exercise after escaping years of abuse. By the time she was through, The Black Veil of Deceit had become a literary anthem for women everywhere.

We have helped many people write their stories. Some of those stories hurt. Some of them are not easy to write. Marina’s is one of those stories that had to be written, even if it hurt to write: [Read more…]

How to write a query letter – the ultimate guide

If you want to publish your book through a traditional publishing house, you will need a query letter. Here is all you need to know in one place.

Whether you have written the next great literary masterpiece, or a reputation book to promote your business, one hard truth appears at the end of your last edit. You have to get it published. As we zoom through the 21st century, you have more publishing options than ever. [Read more…]

Your company book is the ideal recruiting tool

Some companies publish a book as a marketing and sales tool. But there is another reason to publish your own company book: to attract the best talent.

Being seen as a good place to work makes it easier to recruit top talent and build a stronger team. In fact, the more positive the image of your company, the more people will want to work for you. The results can be impressive:

  • lower training costs
  • lower recruiting costs
  • less turnover to manage
  • increased employee loyalty
  • better talent applying for jobs
  • greater worker loyalty and pride

[Read more…]

Making readability studies readable

Readability is in crisis. Even the abstracts from studies on readability are virtually incomprehensible. Let’s see what they really say.

What is readability? It’s a measure of how easy a text is to read. For example, how easy is it to read a blog post or white paper you wrote?

Readability is most commonly measured in grade levels. The average person reads in the range of Grade 6 to Grade 8. This might shock you. You’ve had 12 grades of education. Or you’ve had 15 or even 20. But you still read at a Grade 8 level or lower. Yes, you can read at a higher level, but you would do so only when you have to. Why is this?

[Read more…]

17 lies the English language tells you

English, like any language, is straightforward. Words mean what they mean. And if you believe that, you’ve been lied to.

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

So said Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-glass.

FACT: hundreds of English words don’t actually mean what we mean by them.

These are the little white lies that the English language tells us. We all use the words incorrectly, because if we all agree (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more), then words actually take on the meaning that they don’t mean.

Here are just a few examples I’ve plucked out of an ocean of misused meanings. [Read more…]

Top 10 reasons to start blogging (unless you are an undercover spy or a drug smuggler)

Everybody should blog. Blogging is now a basic tool to succeed in almost every field. Here are 10 reasons why.

You should be blogging, whether you run a business, freelance part time or hope someday to land that dream job. Hairdresser? Plumber? Home inspector? Nuclear safety monitor? Whoever you are, other than a criminal or a spy, blogging gets you ahead. Most of these 10 reasons apply to you.

  1. It’s fulfilling
  2. Instant credibility
  3. Build a loyal fan base
  4. The ultimate networking tool
  5. Help the search engines find you
  6. Feed your social media following
  7. Much more complete than a resume
  8. Business card? What business card?
  9. Tangible proof of what you know, can do and have done
  10. Clients and employers can find you even when they are not yet looking to hire

[Read more…]

Christian spiritual book published

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes his book: He Will Guide You: Truth, Experience The Holy Spirit, by Rev. Dr. John Diomede.

John set out to write a very specific book. He wanted to help Christians make sound decisions by enhancing their relationship with the Holy Spirit. The resulting book is all about you and the Holy Spirit.

John sees something missing in the church today. Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to be with believers. He said this would be the “norm” for His relationship with them. [Read more…]

18 pros and cons of eBooks

eBooks are taking over the world of reading. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Here are some pros and cons of eBooks.

A book is no longer just a stack of papers bound together. More and more people are reading electronic books, or eBooks. Some are PDFs. Some are on Kindle. Some come in various other formats.

There are pros and cons of eBooks replacing paper books. Before I list a few, let me say that I still love paper. I spend so much time staring at a screen for work, that I really don’t want to stare at a screen when I don’t have to. But there are some undeniable advantages to eBooks. [Read more…]

How to cook up mouth-watering blog posts – 31 easy tips

Blogging is a piece of cake when you have the recipe. Here are 31 tips to make your blog a mouth-watering treat that will keep readers coming back for more.

I love to blog. In fact, I just love to write. And writing is a huge part of blogging. It’s the meat of the meal. But it’s not the only thing that makes or breaks your blog posts.

There are five main aspects to your blog posts that are all equally important. Let’s take a quick look at each one: [Read more…]

5 challenges you face as a writer

The survey results are in! Here are the top challenges writers face, and how some of those lead to hiring a ghostwriter.

We are often approached by people who can’t start writing their book or can’t finish it. Those are two of the biggest reasons people hire a freelance writing service like ours.

Bridget McNulty at NowNovel took a survey of her readers to find out what the five biggest writing challenges are. Here are the results she reported: [Read more…]