—The Blog Series: Blog 18
Part 2: Write the Manuscript
Keep Your Readers Glued: The Top 5 Writing Techniques You Can Start Using Now! (continued)
#4—Use Words That Punch
As a reader, do you sometimes encounter text that’s difficult to concentrate on? The reasons why are simple. The author:
· used long paragraphs
· used long sentences
· didn’t back-load
· used soft-sounding words instead of words that impact
· used concept words with vague meanings
Soft-sounding words contain few of the hard-letter sounds that get noticed. Here are the hard-letter sounds that do get noticed: long vowels and b, d, g, j, k, r, t, v, z.
Concept words are those that the reader can’t visualize. They’re vague rather than specific. A document packed with them is a challenge to concentrate on. The result? The prospect doesn’t read much of the document, and he’ll want to sidestep anything else produced by the same writer.
Worse is when vague concept words are positioned at the end of a sentence where the power word should be. Vague words are weak, and should be used to back-load only when you need to soften a point.
Here are examples of concept words that have vague meaning. Notice that most of these words are long with multiple syllables, and have soft-sounding letters like short vowel sounds and f, h, l, m, n, p, s:
Two words to avoid: boring, ordinary. Using them will bore the reader and sound ordinary.
Fiction authors manipulate word choice intentionally, in order to sound soft, strong, compelling, warm, cold, and to deliver any of hundreds of other effects. You can easily apply this secret technique to your nonfiction writing, and keep your reader riveted. And not just to your book.
If you’ve wondered why one or more of your white papers or magazine articles that you’ve written isn’t as effective as you would like, revise them with short sentences, short paragraphs, back-loading, and words with hard-letter sounds that define and impact.
Thousand-Dollar Tip—A manuscript editor is the one professional—aside from a book-cover designer—that authors cannot do without. Select a top-notch editor who is also a multi-published fiction author. (I talk more about selecting editors in the book Business Gold.) Authors/editors employ scores of secret techniques to make your writing grip the reader, and are minute-detail gurus who can transform an ordinary manuscript into a superior quality book that will get raving referrals.
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The content for this blog series is taken from my book Business Gold: How to Write a Book to Spotlight Your Expertise, Attract a Ton of New Customers, and Explode Your Profits!, available at Amazon.com. (The publisher, Business Book Productions, is now PogoFish Media, owned by the author of this article).