Just a few weeks after I spoke at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, I was a speaker at Barcamp Nashville, the city's social media unconference. The session ended up being one of the most attended of the day.
•Use active voice; passive voice is to
•No inﬁnitives/gerunds (also called
•Subject & verb at beginning of the
1. Write good ledes.
(Write like a journalist,
not a teenager in her diary.)
"He coulda been
— David Knowles, The Daily
These kill kittens!
• Webster's deﬁnes "mediocre" as. . .
• If you've been living under a rock. . .
• My friend, Steve, and I were at our favorite
coffee shop, drinking soy chai lattes. . .
• Take 2 parts "blah," and 3 parts "meh," and
mix them up to create the worst ledes ever.
2. Write 3 – 5 good ledes.
String them together.
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert
when the drugs began to take hold.
I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded;
maybe you should drive . . ."
And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the
sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and
screeching and diving around the car, which was going about
100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas.
And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these
— HST, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
3. Metaphors rule.
(Similes will do in a pinch.)
Men's words are bullets, that
their enemies take up and make
use of against them.
— George Savile, Maxims of State
Life is like a box of chocolates.
— Forrest Gump
And the impending squint of first light
It lurked behind a weepin’ marquee in
It’d be pullin’ up any minute now
Just like a bastard amber Velveeta yellow cab
on a rainy corner
And be blowin’ its horn in every window in town
— Tom Waits, Nighthawks at the Diner, "Putnam County"