Category Archives: Writing craft

The Power of a Conversational Writing Style

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I was at my beautician friend’s house getting a haircut when her husband, Randy, came home. He’s not a writer or interested in becoming one. But, whenever Randy is around, I know he’ll ask about my work. We’ve gotten past, “What do you write?” He understands that I write books. He’s asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”and I’ve told him I pray before I write and ask for God’s guidance. Somehow the ideas just come. But on this particular haircut day Randy wanted to know,

“Who do you write for?”

(I wanted to correct his grammar, but I didn’t.) I rambled on about editors, writing assignments and deadlines. I talked about publishers and digressed into explaining what it means to freelance. —

“I meant WHO do you write for?” he interrupted me. “Kids? Adults?”

“Both,” I said. Then I added,

“I write for every person reading my book. I want my words to make each reader feel like I’ve written the book just for him or her.”

I could have gone on and made the poor guy sit through a lesson on informal writing and conversational tone, but I didn’t. I’m sure he was grateful.

When I write here on the blog and also when I write devotionals I prefer a conversational voice. Yes, it breaks the rules of formal writing, but there are benefits.

  • A conversational tone connects the reader with the writer.
  • It allows the writer to get ideas across using fewer words.
  • It holds readers’ interest longer and makes them want to read more.
  • A conversational tone is more inviting and entertaining.
  • It increases readership.
  • A conversational tone flows easily and naturally, like a friendly conversation with Randy!

dialoogKurt Vonnegut said, “The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child . . . I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.”

 

Think about your writing style. Is it formal or informal?
What about your style makes your readers want to come back for more?

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Writing Is Better with Bacon

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If you are like me, you’ve ventured outside your comfort zone and sampled at least one strange bacon infused concoction. Donuts, pickles, jam, ice cream, brownies . . . Everything is better with bacon—even the craft of writing!

“Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”

1001_image1_slicker_francis_baconWho said it? 

The Renaissance-era scientist and philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon. He, perhaps unknowingly, packed a powerful writing lesson into that one simple sentence.

Let’s break it down.

READING fills a writer with knowledge, ideas and a better understanding of technique. When a writer reads, he or she learns more about the craft of writing by experiencing various writing styles, voices, forms and genres.

CONFERENCE inspires writers to write. Have you come away from a writers’ conference filled with ideas and readiness? Of course you have! Conversing with other writers and creative people sparks motivation. It prepares a writer to write.

EXACTNESS is the final part of Bacon’s lesson. A ready writer works diligently to find the exact words to convey an exact meaning. That’s the most difficult part of writing, taking knowledge and readiness and weaving them into something great.

Reading makes a full writer; conference a ready writer; and writing an exact writer.

The next time you feel stuck, remember Sir Francis’ words:

Read. 
Converse. 
Be exact.

and remember:
Writing is better with Bacon!

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Sir Francis’ mother was a cook who married a bacon.
Anne (nee Cooke) Bacon.

Some scholars believe Sir Francis faked his own death.
He wanted to live—without bringing home the bacon!

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

 

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