Is your writing the kind that makes the reader’s eyeballs bleed?
Do your family members cringe at the thought of reading something you wrote?
Have you ever heard your best friend whisper under her breath, ‘Is this content or torture?’
Do you get reviews like ‘your work is…eh…not quite there?’
Say no more.
We have compiled four practical ways by which you can make your writing more appealing and readable.
- Write more in the active voice than in the passive voice
The eggs were eaten by the boys.
If no one has had the heart to tell you, we’ll do it: most of the time, writing in passive voice makes your readers’ get bored. Take it from professionals, there are healthier and reader-friendly ways to pass your message across.
For example, instead of that half-dead sentence, how about we say, the boys ate the eggs. This conveys a sharper image of the idea.
Passive voice isn’t bad in itself, but it fails to have as firm a grip on the reader’s mind as the active voice. If you must write in the passive voice, do it minimally.
2. Be concise and creative with words
If you’re a writer, then you must love words. However, you don’t need to remind people of your affection for words by pouring out all the contents of your logophilic brain in one blog post. It is the fastest and most guaranteed way for a reader to lose interest.
What to do?
Lose the extraneous material. If your sentence still makes sense without it, cut it out.
Keep your writing as simple as possible while switching up the lengths of the sentences to ensure variety. Conciseness is one of the easiest ways to achieve a brilliant flow.
Also, choose words that compel your reader’s mind into action, words that stimulate the senses. The constant appeal to their imagination will keep them hooked to every page. Word use is an intentional process.
3. Let your work show confidence
You title a book, How to Make Five Billion in a Week and the chapters are rife with ‘maybe’, ‘might’, ‘you should’, ‘you may’, ‘it could’. That, dearest writer, is unacceptable.
You write to let your readers know what you know; you want to inform or teach them. For your message to be compelling, your writing must be devoid of every form of doubt and vacillation.
This brings us back to word choice. Replace words that suggest probability with words that carry an air of finality without sounding highhanded. Write in a way that makes the words come alive to the reader. This helps them connect to you and the content on a deeper level.
Shine through every word. Give your readers a peek into the wonders of your mind.
4. Be an avid reader
In the words of Joseph Addison, ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’. This gives further credence to the fact that a writer should read, must read and has to read.
Writing and reading are like living and feeling—they go hand in hand. To develop a distinct voice in writing and speaking, you must read. Reading gives you diversity and weight. It enriches the quality of your work. Not to mention its profound effects on your grammar, vocabulary, and style.
If you will take no other advice, take this: Read.