Top Tips To Tighten Up Your Prose

By on September 10, 2018
Top Tips To Tighten Up Your Prose - Writer's

When it comes to writing a great article, no matter what the subject matter, it’s important to make sure your content is as tight and compelling as it can be.

Here are some useful tips to help tighten up your prose.

Keep sentences short and sweet.

Pay attention to sentence length. While it’s beneficial to have some variation to improve flow and readability, make sure your content doesn't contain many long sentences. Sentences that go on for too long are more challenging to read and digest, and by including too many of them, you run the risk of losing your readers attention.

Use simple language.

Don’t use language that’s more complicated than it needs to be. People appreciate the simplicity, and unless you are writing a piece specifically aimed at an audience who will understand more academic or complicated prose, it’s best to use everyday language whenever you can.

Be clear and direct.

Your article heading should reveal to your reader what it's about. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. An excellent article will provide the reader with the proposed information in a clear and direct way. If your writing is too convoluted or overwritten, you could irritate your readers, and you run the risk of them looking for what they want elsewhere.

Take out 10%.

Once you have finished your article read over it and be strict about what’s necessary. Any waffle, any additional words, and points that aren’t relevant - take them out. You should be able to cut your content by at least 10% making for a neater, tighter, more concise piece of writing overall.

Break it down

Use headings and subheadings to break up your text to make it more scannable. Doing this also helps readers to find information more quickly and helps them digest complicated details more efficiently too.

Have excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling

Tight prose should be as flawless as possible. Errors in spelling and grammar will get in the way of a reader’s enjoyment of your piece so make sure you do a thorough check and weed out any mistakes before you publish.

Use the active voice.

The active voice is so much more engaging and will bring life and authority to your work. It’s a common error to use the passive voice without even noticing so when you have finished your first draft have a thorough check to ensure you change any instances where you can.

Don’t be lazy

We are all guilty of writing lazily from time to time. It’s easy to try and fill the page with slightly repetitive points or say the same thing twice in a different way. Make sure everything you’ve got to say is smart, interesting and will capture your reader's attention.

By following the above tips, you will engage with your audience, get your point across and eliminate waffle. So next time you are writing a piece of content use these tips to keep your writing tight, smart and ultimately more readable.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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