Writing tips

 

The British writer’s guide to American English

Trying to write American English is a total brainfuck. It’s like being stuck in a parallel universe where everything looks and feels like it should be the same, but isn’t. Mastering the change of language is much more than swapping your ‘ise’ for ‘ize’ and…

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Dangling modifiers: what the hell is that?

Don’t leave me hanging, baby. That’s what a modifier would say, if it could talk. Because when you leave shit hanging around like that, misunderstandings happen. Embarrassing ones. Allow me to elaborate…   What is a dangling modifier? Before we can wade into the nitty…

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Passive voice and the curse of being boring AF

There’s a hidden force at work and it’s lurking deep within your marketing copy. It’s called ‘passive voice’ and if left unchecked, it’ll run rife and play havoc with your success rates. It’s time for you to get active. Active voice. Here are a few…

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How to make copy sound ‘punchy’

It’s the feedback we all loathe… “Can you make it more ‘punchy’?” I mean, WTAF? Really. In the interest of preventing countless client murders, here are some quick ways to add a bit of punch to your copy.   1. Make it bite-sized First thing’s…

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Your first draft is completely wrong — now what?

Do you ever get “HOLYSHITISUCKATMYJOB” paranoia? Like when your first draft comes back smothered in red pen? Or when your Google Doc is so annotated, you can’t read it for all the amendment requests? Yeah, man. We’ve all been there. If I had balls, I…

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Parallelisms: what the hell is that?

Imagine if you could make your writing sound really readable. Imagine if you could do it with one simple change. Imagine if there was someone awesome who could help… What is a ‘parallelism’? Solid question, my friend. Parallelisms occur when you have matching structures or…

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Creating and using an ‘idea bank’

Stephen King once said: ‘Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Even if he wasn’t 100% right (which he is) I’ve never been one to argue with the King. Instead of mooching around, waiting for an…

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4 techniques for more original writing

Been there, done that, eaten the t-shirt, got the pie. When we see the same ideas, cliches and concepts knocking around we get bored, we lose respect and we fail to grasp tangible details of the copy we’re reading. Unfortunately, coming up with original goods…

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How to conquer the blank page and make a start

Are you ready to take that blank page and make it your bitch? Good, because there’s nothing worse than sitting at the precipice of a copy job and feeling dry AF. My favourite cures for writer’s block are Judas Priest, coffee and a biscuit (amaretti,…

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Comma splice: what the hell is that?

Pens out, pals! This month we’re learning about the ‘comma splice’—a common form of punctuation abuse. Whenever I think of the term ‘comma splice’, I usually think of Jeff Goldblum in the Cronenberg remake of The Fly… I also think about the film Splice. Either way, it…

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