Scott Adams on the Day You Became a Better Writer

This post is a summary of Scott Adams’ fantastic blog post, “The Day You Became a Better Writer.”  His ideas really resonated with me.  He was able to distill an entire day (or semester) of writing advice into a few short paragraphs.  If you enjoy this post, you might also enjoy my summary of Scott’s book, How to Fail at Nearly Everything and Still Win Big.

(Also, you can check out Scott’s original post at the following link: The Day You Became a Better Writer (Original Post))

NOTES

Good writing is clear and persuasive.

Clear = simple

Simple = persuasive

Get rid of extra words.  For humor/entertainment, use interesting words (“swill” vs. “drink”).

The first sentence is essential.  It must grab you and make you curious.

Write short sentences.  One thought per sentence.

Learn how the brain organizes ideas–e.g. “the boy hit the ball” vs. “the ball was hit by the boy.”

“DEEP CUTS” OF BETTER WRITING

There are three things I would add to Scott’s ideas:

  1. Lists
  2. Stories
  3. Analogies 

Lists are a powerful way to organize your ideas and make them easier for the reader to digest.  Using a bulleted / numbered list in a body of text also helps to break up the monotony of paragraph form.  See below for an example taken from my journal.

If you’re writing or presenting anything longer than one page content, adding a brief and simple story from your personal experience can amplify the message to the audience.  The story should be brief to avoid taking away from the message, and it should be simple to keep the audience engaged.  

To quickly embellish a point, use an analogy.  Comparing what you are describing to something the audience can easily grasp will make your idea more memorable.

stuffandthings1

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