Proofreading saves lives! How I almost became a hitman by signing a murder contract

Never publish anything without proofreading. Ideally, have several people proofread. Here is a a case study of how proofreading saved me from becoming a hitman.

[Read more…]

Something Amazing – song lyrics in need of music

This song is an amazing song. But it’s just lyrics, so far.

This song is intended to be a pop-rock song. It’s been played once as heavy metal. It has a tune, just no music written down. What it needs now is music. Then, a singer or a band to run with it. [Read more…]

Proofreading saves lives! How a celebrity chef became a cannibal

It’s easy to miss vital details, which is why multiple proofreaders are often needed. Here is a tragic story – a proofreading case study – of how a typo turned a celebrity chef into a cannibal.

It all happened so innocently. In fact, at first nobody even noticed. Rachael Ray, a well-known celebrity chef, loved her family. And her dog. Apparently, she really, really loved them. In fact, she was normal in every sense of the word.

But then, somebody at a magazine made a fatal mistake. A proofreader failed to proofread the cover before publishing… [Read more…]

How to write a non-fiction book cover blurb that sells

If you plan to self-publish your non-fiction book, the most important thing you will ever write is the cover blurb for your book. Here’s how to do it right.

If you self-publish, you have to do it all. That includes preparing the cover of your book. Your book is like any other product – the packaging sells the cookies and the frozen dinner. Likewise, the cover sells the book.

People will get a feel for the book from the cover. [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…]

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…]

Is there a hidden writer in you?

Is there a writer in you, just itching to burst forth? Here are 54 tell-tale signs!

This is the sixth installment in a series of self-help tests to help secret writers and not-so-secret writers proclaim their affliction.

If you can’t get enough or are still uncertain, never fear! Here are the previous five installments to help coax that hidden writer out into the open: [Read more…]

Christian marriage book published

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes his book: The Marriage Code Book: Premarital & Marital Strategies, by Jack Mamo.

If you are looking for something new or the latest trend, you won’t find it here. Toronto marriage counselor Jack Mamo gives time-tested advice you can count on, because it’s proven to be effective. What’s new is how he has brought it all together in one volume, and written it from an authentically Christian perspective. [Read more…]

Top 10 most common business grammar errors

The Grammar Monster doesn’t like what he sees in business documents. Let’s publicly flog the worst offenders.

I edit a lot of business documents, from blog posts to case studies, from book manuscripts to press releases. It’s funny how the same errors repeat themselves from document to document, from client to client. Here are some of those I see the most. [Read more…]

What Words With Friends can teach you about writing

If you plan to procrastinate, you might as well do so with something to challenge your inner wordmaster.

Neurolinguistics professor Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) played it as a way to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in the movie “Still Alice”.

Many of your writer friends probably play it.

You might, too.

Words With Friends. Better than Solitaire or WoW (World of Warcraft) as a procrastination tool, you rationalize. I mean, at least this game has something to do with writing. Welcome to the moral high ground. [Read more…]

Take this test to see if you are an incurable writer (56 questions)

Are you an incurable writer? Here are 56 tell-tale clues!

This is the fifth in a series of self-help tests to diagnose you as an incurable writer, hopelessly addicted to words and a vagabond spirit upon this planet.

If you are a writer, my condolences. But you won’t get any pity from me, because I’m a writer, too. If you missed any of the first four tests, here are the links: [Read more…]

Are you a #writer? Take this quiz.

Are you a writer? Take this 51-question quiz to find out!

This is the fourth in a series of self-tests to help you determine if you are a writer – someone afflicted with the compulsive need to express yourself in words at any time of day or night.

Being a writer is a terminal condition; it cannot be cured, only managed.  One of the best ways to manage being a writer is with humor.  So we take the humorous approach to diagnosing your condition. Take this writers quiz, then feel free to share your results in the comments below…if you dare! [Read more…]

Are You A Writing Hoarder?

We all know what hoarding is, but have you ever heard about writing hoarders?

Digital hoarding is “a thing”. Haley Cue of XoJane.com writes:

Technology has made collecting things so much easier, more attainable, creative, customizable. Filters! Hashtags! Sharing! We can get to know another person’s life by scrolling through a collection of images we’ve been granted access to. I am certain I would be doing these things regardless of time and medium, but I am thankful for the conveniences of my generation. I’d be terrified to find out how I would function without it all. [Read more…]

The power of motivational quotes

Motivational quotes capture people’s imagination. What’s so special about these portable tidbits of wisdom?

I am currently ghostwriting a book about stock market investment strategies. Yes, it’s a topic that is all about numbers. But don’t worry – the way I write it, readers will stay awake. One little trick in this book is that each chapter begins with a motivational quote, something to put the reader in the frame of mind to think about what’s coming up next. [Read more…]

How to write a great blog post: 99 essential writing tips for bloggers

There is much more to running a blog than writing. But writing is enough to warrant 99 tips. Follow these tips for a world-class blog.

A blogger wears many hats.  He is an artist, creating images.  She is a community manager, keeping readers engaged.  He is a programmer, keeping the blog technically functioning.  She is a marketer, promoting the blog.

But above all, a blogger is a writer.  The Internet is overflowing with blogging tips.  Today, we sift through the noise, mix a few metaphors and focus on the essential oils – the writing! So, for a good blog – no, for a great blog – read on. [Read more…]

25 random things about this writer

How well do you really know your writer? Here is a sneak peak into David Leonhardt’s secret vault.

If that introduction sounds overly dramatic, that’s all in character. I have never been accused of lacking passion when I write. If you have been following my writing, that is one thing you already know about me.

This blog post is about 25 things you probably do NOT already know about me. So I won’t talk about Doctor Who or the cats that hang around outside our door (and their eight spanking-new kittens!) or our singing and dancing daughters, or anything else I’ve regularly revealed in this blog or on social media. [Read more…]

Wow! Even more signs that you might be a writer

You might be a writer if…well, there are just too many signs that you might be a writer, so this is the third edition, with even more tell-tale signs that you are a writer.

Jeff Foxworthy must be turning in his grave. Well, maybe not for a while (Sorry, Jeff). But here we go again, appropriating the style of jokes he pioneered with rednecks, and applying them instead to writers. You can read the first edition here, and the second edition here, and if you survive those and are ready to read the signs below, it simply proves that you are:

A. Dead, but just don’t know it yet.

B. A glutton for punishment.

C. A certified writer.

D. All of the above.

With apologies to rednecks everywhere, you might be a writer if… [Read more…]

Is cursive writing for dinosaurs?

Cursive writing has been banned in Finland.  OK, that sounds like hyperbole, but let’s just say that the days of cursive writing are starting to look numbered.

I was asked to take a writing test the other day. I pulled out my laptop, but I was stopped. “No technology,” I was told. A few minutes later, the pain in my hand reminded me why I love keyboards, even though I am a two-finger typist. Writing has been replaced by typing for most of us. My hand cramps if I try to write for more than a minute with a pen, because the handwriting muscles have atrophied! [Read more…]

The value of cultural signposts for writers

All writing and no play makes you a dull blogger.  Here’s why you should get cultural.

Cultural signposts are important for writers of all kinds, both to connect with audiences and to connect with… well, audiences.

The first audiences I am referring to are the obvious ones – your readers. While you are immersed in writing, they are flipping channels and tuning in stations. Movies, TV shows, songs, celebrities, sports teams – these are the cultural sign posts that your readers relate to. [Read more…]

Writers Family Holiday Bingo

Are you a writer, stressed about facing the family over the Holidays?  We have instant stress relief for you in the form of Writers’ Family Holiday Bingo

For many writers, the holidays are especially difficult.

It’s not just that we’re hoping our Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa romance ebook will be published in time to catch the holiday sales. It’s not just that many of us have an artist’s budget and a shopping list that extends downstairs. [Read more…]