When you write, one of your goals is to make your words easy to read.
That means you opt for small words over big words, as long as the choice doesn’t compromise change your meaning.
And you likely strive to keep your sentences on the shorter side. Your paragraphs, too.
But sometimes, as you’re crafting this easy-to-read work, you want to change things up a little bit… maybe write a sentence that’s a little longer. Or a paragraph that draws out your point and provides supporting evidence for your conclusion. That paragraph might run for five or six lines, even though you don’t usually let them get longer than three. Or maybe you have a series of three word sentences, each with its own line. Maybe just a single word sentence.
As you’re writing, your topic may lend itself to a little irreverence and humor. And so you play to that. You tell a funny story or work in a clever pun (some puns can be clever, I swear!).
But then you get to a point that’s really important. And to underscore it, you shift your tone to be more serious…
In other words you write dynamically. You write in a way that shifts pace and tone periodically. Not in an abrupt, what-is-going-on sort of way. But in a natural way… one that makes your reader lean in and keeps them from getting bored.
If you don’t write dynamically, boring your reader is a real risk.
Even if you write to a sixth-grade level, if all your sentences are six words long, and all your paragraphs run for two and a half lines… eventually some of your meaning will fade into the background. Your reader’s brain will recognize a pattern, file it, and then tune out a little bit.
If all of your writing has the same energy and emotion throughout, the same thing happens. The brain stops noticing… and that’s when it wanders off to other things like whether or not you fed the cat this morning or who won the Oscar for Best Actor in 2013.
But when you write dynamically, your reader feels like they need to pay attention. More than that, they want to. Because what you’re saying — or at least how you’re saying it — is interesting. And engaging.
Here’s the cool thing. You don’t have to be dynamic in your first draft. You can bring that in as part of your revision process.
Start by looking at your page.
Is there good variety in the length of sentences and paragraphs? Do you use some dashes and ellipsis? They help make your words more conversational, so sprinkle them in where they make sense.
What is the dominant emotion of your piece? Does the energy of that emotion vary? If not, look for ways to dial it back or turn it up in appropriate spots.
When you learn to write dynamically, your work will be more than just easy to read. It will be fun, too. And that’s when your readers will stick with you from the first word to the last.
New on the Site
Many of the most successful marketing promotions, both traditional and online, have something in common: Their lead is a real story about a real person or situation that hooks the reader’s attention and compels them to read on. In his latest post, John Torre shares the elements that make up a good story.
If you’ve noticed that emails that used to work aren’t working so well anymore, you’re not mistaken. It isn’t that email has stopped working — you just have to know what’s working in email marketing today if you want to deliver results. In this Roving Report, see what’s changed about subject lines, leads, and getting the click.
The year is two-thirds over. Time for an update on Andrew Murray’s progress toward the goals he set at the beginning of the year. Check out his income numbers… and discover an exciting opportunity for attracting clients while you’re at it.
Mark Your Calendar
September 18: Are you looking for a better way to land clients? Or a new way to help your clients land more customers… maybe while you earn some commissions while you’re at it? In this live webinar event, Wealthy Web Writer member, Eric Gelb, shows how he’s made hundreds of thousands in sales for his company while having a great time at small event parties. See how you can use this same strategy to grow your writing business when you join us at 3 p.m. Eastern Time this Wednesday.
September 25: Landing clients is a big question mark for many web writers. Both new web writers and established writers struggle with finding the right approach for their business. In this webinar event, I provide a plan you can use to fill your client roster over the course of the next year. Best of all, this system is repeatable, so you can keep your calendar full. Details for this event will be available soon.
Around the Web
Want to know what percentage of mobile searches are location-specific? Or how many words your Facebook Ad headline should be? Check out this infographic for answers to those questions and more.
There’s a lot to be said for living a more simple life. It can be better for your health, less expensive, and better for the environment. Most importantly, it can lead to richer relationships and more rewarding work. This guide shares lots of tips for living better by simplifying.
HubSpot reveals the steps they took to increase their image search traffic by almost 800%.
I try to lead with being kind whenever possible… turns out this is a good business practice. Which doesn’t actually surprise me, but validation is always nice. 🙂
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!
P.S. Did you catch our Monthly Member Update last week? I delved into some of my favorite tips for getting organized. If you missed it, the recording is available right here.