Say it Simple


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7 tips for clear writing.

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  • thanks, Dipika, for the 7 tips. I haven't read them yet, but I'm sure they will be helpful. I just signed up for a 'writing a memoir' class at the Gotham Writer's Workshop. Ever heard of them? Its so good to know that,, although you guys left town, we can still be in contact. Say Hi to Akira for me. Kush must be a toddler by now.

    Margaret Ryan
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Say it Simple

  1. 1. 7 tips for clear writing DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  2. 2. Start at the end Be clear what matters, and say that first. State your point “high up” in your story. Journalists already know this one. The whole point of a story is summed up in its first few lines. The rest of the details follow in order of decreasing im- portance. If your readers leave midway through your article, you know they at least got the most important information. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  3. 3. Edit. Be brief. Whittle. Take what you’ve written in your second draft and cut it in half. Then cut it in half again. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  4. 4. Tell stories. Have a beginning, middle and end. Ever been to Ireland? Then you’ll know about captivating with great tales. Entertain with your writing. Give people a reason to keep go- ing. Crescendo to a great end- ing. Don’t just let your article fall flat because you ran out of time or space. Outline. Plan. Think through your story arc, and make sure your ending satisfies. Reward your reader for getting there. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  5. 5. Use imagery. Paint a picture. Set the scene. People love to see it with you. Build the senses into your stories to add texture and detail. You’ll be sure to capture people’s attention if they feel like they’re right there with you. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  6. 6. Don’t fudge. Research to understand what’s unclear. People know if you’re faking. If you’re not sure about your topic, do your homework to learn about it. If you can’t spend the time to figure out how a thing works, or why it matters, or what’s unique about it, don’t expect your reader to plough through a boring story. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  7. 7. Be a human. Be real. Say things simply. Don’t try to sound smart with fancy words that make people’s eyes glaze over. Use short sentences. Skip words like “utilize” and “facilitate” when the simpler “use” and “help” do the job. Save your reader the hassle of tripping over extra syl- lables. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  8. 8. Care Delegate if you don’t want to write it. Write what matters to you. Too many people crank out boring copy. Why? They’re not interested in their subjects. Ask someone else to write what you don’t want to. If they’re passionate, that will show. And your readers will be happier, too. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS
  9. 9. Connect with us Want to know more? Ask about our Say it Simple workshops. DESIGNKOMPANY.COM/SIS