19. How to Write a Business Book to Attract New Customers, Clients, or Natural-health Patients
—The Blog Series: Blog 19
Part 2: Write the Manuscript
Keep Your Readers Glued: The Top 5 Writing Techniques You Can Start Using Now! (continued)
#5—Delete the -ing
With -ing words (climbing, approaching), a few quickly become a lot. They soften words, and that weakens your impact. Also, –ings make words longer, which slows the reader’s pace.
Whenever possible, fiction authors use the unchanged root verb (climb, approach) instead to avoid those effects, and to avoid the sound of too many –ings. An abundance of them echo in the reader’s ear like a bell tolling; they distract the reader from the points you want to make. Most often, the root verb is more vivid, concrete, and has greater reader impact.
Delete the –ing to yield powerful words. Powerful words keep the reader engaged.
However, too many power words can cause the reader to feel talked at rather than conversed with. So, how many –ing words should you use? If possible, no more than one or two in each paragraph. When you focus on this strategy, your ear will start to pick out –ing-laden paragraphs as you reread what you’ve written.
This isn’t a point to be overly concerned about as you produce your first draft. For the first draft, simply follow the writer’s axiom and write like you talk. Delete the –ings is simply a technique to keep in mind in order to bolster the effect of what you write. You can self-edit and rework the –ings later, after you complete the initial draft of your manuscript. For now, the goal is to compose the first draft with a few advantageous techniques in mind.
Shorter paragraphs, shorter sentences, back-loaded sentences, words with punch, and the reduced use of –ing words will become natural and easy to write with a little practice, and then all the documents you create will be stronger and more effective.
Thousand-Dollar Tip—To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, no one need know that you learned how to write a business book. Let people think you were born that way. ; )
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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).