What writing help would be the most useful for you?

We all have to write whether we like it or not. I happen to love it to bits, but I know many of you don’t so need some help. Many of you do, but need some help to get it rolling.

What writing help would be the most useful for you?

How can we help you with your writing? Just say!

So, I want to start a monthly newsletter to make you folks more comfortable with whatever you want or need to write. No bullsh*t, nice and concise.

It will share tips from my vast range of utterly hysterical experience in writing everything from books to funny jokes on toilet rolls (seriously), plus that of many other writing experts from all over the world.

Now, never mind what I think we should share. What do YOU want some help with? For example:

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Who the hell writes about whoever-self?

When someone responds to “how are you today” with “good thanks, and yourself?” … it makes my grammar fascist nerve-endings jangle.

“Yourself” here seems lumpy and affected. Why not just “good thanks, and you?” Or even “good thanks, and how are you?”

Who the hell writes about whoever-self?

(Or if we’re going to be truly picky here, it should be “I’m well, thanks. How are you?”)

Anyway to find out why it makes my innate grammar fascist want to spit fur and feathers, I did a little “proper research” to find out just when it is and isn’t comfortable to use that cranky “self” suffix. [Read more…]

How to write a good short story – in simple terms for beginners

What does it take to make a brilliant short story? A lot depends on your taste in writing, and/or the taste in reading of your audience if it is already established. And there are many types of short story – almost as many different types as there are genres in full-length books.

How to write a good short story, in simple but effective terns

However as you would expect, a short story is rather different from a full length book, and different from an essay, too.

Writing a short story is like taking a snapshot

Whether you’re writing about something that actually has happened to you – or, you’re making up a fictional story – you have little time for anything but the key points.

It’s hard to know just how much description to include (where the story takes place, what the characters do and look like, the time of year, etc.) And you have no time for any “back story” to introduce readers to the action.

Write a skeleton plan

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How To Write Better: thank you, 2 million page viewers in the last 4 years!

More than 2 million page views in 4 years! Nothing could have made me happier than being greeted on my return from Canada (Sept 10th, 2017) to find that our humble How To Write Better (the REAL one) has exceeded the 2 million page view mark since September 1st, 2013.

2 millions page views for HTWB
For a niche site that’s a labour of love (rather than the off-shoot of another site that exists in the USA as part of a large commercial enterprise…) I have to say I am truly proud of our achievements. [Read more…]

“How can I become an author?” How we can help…

This question is a lot harder to answer than it is to ask! However here is what I wrote in response to Amelia, who posted on the HTWB Facebook page asking “how can I become an author?”

What additional advice on becoming an author can we give her?

Agony Columns on How To Write BetterPlease share in the comments…and I will delete any that are facetious or rude! Here we go…

Hi Amelia,

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How to write a bloody awful blog post – update

It’s more than four years since this tongue-in-cheek article about business blogging appeared and looking at it again, I find it utterly terrifying.

writing bloody awful blog posts HTWB
Why? Because so little has changed. So little has improved. Day after day businesses are still churning out the bullsh*t I rather cruelly outline below.

So, Google, much as I would love to have updated the article to show how far we have come in four years’ worth of blogging experience, if I am to be honest with you, I can’t update a damned thing apart from one or two small points…

Let’s blog badly … and at least have a laugh about it

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