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Write Like a Professional

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by

Laura Randazzo

on 7 May 2015

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Transcript of Write Like a Professional

Six Simple Tips to

Immediately Improve Your Writing
Participles
Absolutes
Appositives
Adjectives shifted out of order
Vivid verbs
Similes and Metaphors
Ex: The diamond-scaled snakes attacked their prey.

Better:
Hissing and slithering,
the diamond-scaled snakes attacked their prey.
“-ing” verb or “-ed” verb placed at beginning of the sentence

a phrase that begins with a “-ing” or “-ed” verb at the beginning of the sentence
Shifting the weight of the line to his left shoulder and kneeling carefully,

he washed his hand in the ocean and held it there
, submerged,

for more than a minute,

watching the blood trail away and the steady movement of the water against his hand as the boat moved.

– Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Example from Literature:
Ex: The cat climbed the tree.

Better:
Feet kicking,
the cat climbed the tree.

Or, as a phrase:
Feet kicking on the slick birch branch,
the cat climbed the tree.
A two-word combination
(a noun and an -ing or -ed verb)
added onto a sentence.

Or, such a combination used to launch a phrase.
The mummy was moving.
Torn wrappings hanging from its arm,

the mummy stepped out of its gilded box. A scream froze in Carla’s throat.
– Anne Rice, The Mummy
Example

from Literature:
Ex: The raccoon enjoys eating turtle eggs.

Better: The raccoon
, a scavenger,
enjoys eating turtle eggs.

Or: The raccoon
, a midnight scavenger who roams lake shorelines in a quest to fill its belly,
enjoys eating turtle eggs.
A noun that adds a second image to a preceding noun.

Or, that second noun image turned into a phrase.
Dave
, my older brother and inventor of the Super Duper Electromagnet,
decided I should test his invention.
– Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Example From Literature:
placed out of order
Ex: The large, red-eyed, angry bull charged the matador.

Better: The
large
bull
, red-eyed and angry,
charged the matador.
Instead of stringing three adjectives in a row, place one before the noun and two after the noun.
The Pavilion was a simple city
, long and rectangular.
– Caleb Carr, The Alienist

I could smell Mama
, crisp and starched,
plumping my pillow, and the cool muslin pillowcase touched both my ears as the back of my head sank into all those feathers.
– Robert Newton Peck,
A Day No Pigs Would Die
Examples
From Literature:
vivid
Ex: The gravel road was on the left side of the barn.
Avoid "to be" verbs; instead, energize your
writing with more vivid choices
Lennie
dabbled
his big paw in the water and
wiggled
his fingers so the water
arose
in little splashes; rings
widened
across the pool to the other side and came back again.
– John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
Better: The gravel road
curled
around the left side of the barn.
Examples From Literature:
and metaphor
Ex: The wind cut through my scarf and froze my neck.

Better: The wind
, as icy as a witch’s curse,
cut through my scarf and froze my neck.
Comparing two dissimilar things for the sake of creating an image in the reader’s mind.

Similes do this using "like," "as,"
or any connective wording.

Metaphors do this without the use of any connective wording.
A pure white mist crept over the water
like breath upon a mirror.

– A.J. Cronin
Love
is a battlefield.

– Pat Benatar
Examples From Literature:
(simile)
(simile)
(metaphor)
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