Try this easy macro to instantly find all your long sentences in a Microsoft Word document. You don’t have to know anything about macros or code. Continue reading
Use this easy macro to highlight passive verb forms (and other be-verbs) instantly in a Microsoft Word document. You don’t have to know anything about macros or code. Continue reading
Dip in to this list anywhere, and give your inner editor’s funny bone a tickle. Take “hurriedly scurried.” Or “moral high horse.” Or “live studio audience.” “Old codgers.” “Old coots.” “Old fossils.” “Old ruins.” “Commonly available general knowledge that anyone would know.” I don’t make this stuff up. Bonus: Smiling at redundant phrases sharpens your writing. Warning: These things are addictive. Continue reading
A car pulled up next to my Prius at a stoplight in downtown Portland. The driver opened her window and asked, “What does your bumper sticker mean?” Through my passenger window, I told her that it means to look for verbs like “is” and “were” and “are,” and then consider how you might reword to make the writing tighter and more impactful. “You made my day,” she said. Continue reading
As long as companies are full of people, and as long as people insist on having separate personalities and distinct voices, companies need to take action to empower their content teams to write with one voice. Continue reading
Your readers crave descriptions so compelling that they see, smell, touch, hear … experience what you’ve put into words. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for pleasure or for pay, Ali Shaw’s new video explains how you can meditate your way to the descriptive details that may be eluding you. Continue reading
Special revival edition of the Tighten This! game.
I chopped off the first four paragraphs, massaged the middle, and refashioned and refashioned the ending—oh, how I wanted to say things there!—until nothing remained but what had happened. Continue reading
“Sir, I need to see your ticket,” the bus driver says. A young man, maybe in his early twenties, is walking toward the back of the bus, where I’m sitting… Continue reading
The final post in the Tighten This! game.