Having the freedom to unleash your creative genius on a piece of writing is disgustingly wonderful. Unlike company reports or emails, a piece of fiction or a reader-friendly blog is not restricted by the rules and conventions of business writing. Instead, you can turn a dry subject into a deliciously creamy one, make your readers smile or get your point across in a fresh way.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? If you’re interested in making your prose leap off the page, hit a winning home run and then do the moonwalk, read on.
1. Employ Anecdotes
As in everyday conversations, hearing/reading a relevant and entertaining story can really break up the monotony. Why? Because it causes us to really stop and picture something. As you read about, for example, an author’s highly embarrassing run-in with a sales assistant, you play a little film in your mind, bringing the words to life. That said, there’s nothing more annoying than having a conversation with someone who regales you with life stories for 10 minutes non-stop. Small doses, people.
2. Ask Questions
See what I did in paragraph 2 and 3? See what I’m doing right now? I’m putting you on the spot, engaging with you by asking a question. A question mark is a powerful thing, as it can bring a reader’s mind zooming back to your writing straight away. It’s almost like being in school, when the teacher asks you a question and you have no idea what they’re talking about. Fortunately, with a piece of writing, you can go back and re-read a paragraph!
3. Be Witty and Humorous
If you like humour in your life, then why not have it in your writing? There’s nothing quite like a good zing, a bit of absurdity, or a spot of acerbic wit. However! Before you hop away to find your back issue stash of Comedic Weekly, remember that incorporating humour well requires balance and clarity. Otherwise you sound either a) over-the-top b) confusing or c) crazy.
4. Use your Punctuation and Formatting Well
Punctuation and formatting can make a difference. Don’t you think?
Punctuation and formatting can make a difference! Don’t you think?
Punctuation and formatting CAN make a difference! Don’t you think?
Punctuation and formatting can make a difference, don’t you think?
5. Embrace Imagery
Mostly seen in travel writing, descriptive language can be used in just about any creative piece of work. Sure, you may be writing about concrete mixers and common plumbing issues, but does that have to stand in your way! No! Start by thinking about the different senses. What does the scene smell like? What does it sound like? Can you compare an object to another? Make sure your writing answers all the possible questions.
6. Give your Vocabulary a Workout
A never-failing way to bore up your writing is to use the same words over and over again. Whether it’s due to laziness or a lack of vocabulary, try and nip this problem in the proverbial bud and you’ll see the difference in no time.
This article was written by Carolyn D’Silva, the Content Development Manager here at Search Factory. Carolyn also writes and manages her own blog called WhichEverWay.