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Don’t Write LIke You Talk


A client is stuck.  She doesn’t know what she wants to do with her story and she doesn’t like her story at all.  She’s unhappy, what should she do?

Well when I’m stuck I like to travel somewhere exotic.  But since a quick trip to Istanbul is not in her budget, we had to move onto plan B.  Which is vacation, retreat, leave the world by reading.  What books are great for writers block? Or in this case, just more inspiration?  What can help the stuck writer move forward again?

I have two sets of books that answer this question.  … Read more

What do you do when faced with an essay or white paper report for work?
The comedy routine is out.
Cancel the ventriloquist.
Don’t rent the karaoke machine just yet.
Setting the annual report to music? Out.
Presenting the grant proposal through interpretive dance? Not such a  good idea.
So what kind of format will work for these boring writing projects? The simplest one: An introduction that includes the thesis statement and the points you intend to cover in the subsequent three – seven – many paragraphs that follow. Finish up with a conclusion that reflects back on the introduction … Read more

Urban legends are fascinating; they are the folktales of our modern culture.

Unlike fiction or a comic story, which must have a plausible framework  to give it structure, and ironically, believability, an urban legend creates framework by claiming the story is really true.  This is how a urban legend begins:  I know a woman who is the aunt of a boy who  went to school with me. This is pedigree enough, and the teller launches into  the story of:   The woman (the aunt of a boy who went to school with me) who dried out  her poodle in the microwave.  … Read more

We stereotype every day all the time.

One glance in your direction and I form a dozen assumptions and stereotypes. In our culture we  have a great deal of information to process  on a minute-by-minute basis, and as humans we often create quick categories  to drop people into just to make the day a little easier. That is normal and fine,  as long as it stays in your head or in a journal entry. Once you begin describing  people on paper, more work and research is required.
A woman in the Chanel suit alights from the Lexus SUV in front … Read more

Light humor, like adding a funny icon to your PowerPoint presentation,usually is a welcome addition to any lecture. A humorous light comment can help bring your audience to your side and help gain sympathy for your cause.  But when you write, it’s a different story.  First of all, humor often has a very short expiration date.   A topical comment within a report or an email can be effective, if the report  or posting is not meant to last. A topical reference in an annual report won’t  work in your favor. It will rapidly age out and look not only silly … Read more

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