Note: While reading a book whenever I come across something interesting, I highlight it on my Kindle. Later I turn those highlights into a blogpost. It is not a complete summary of the book. These are my notes which I intend to go back to later. Let’s start!

  1. Remove all unnecessary words. Focus on simplicity

  2. Don’t adopt a fake style. Be honest. Be authentic. Be credible

  3. Write for yourself. You are your biggest audience. Be original

  4. Read aloud before publishing

  5. Have a consistent tone and mood. If you are writing a blog post on travel, don’t talk like a travel brochure and a backpacker in the same post

  6. When you are writing non fiction, leave your readers with one unique thought they never had before

  7. Have good leads in the beginning which takes the user forward and hooks them to your article

  8. Take special care of the last sentence of each para, it is the springboard to the next

  9. The conclusion should be swift leaving the readers surprised or with something to think about. Best is to re use a quote from the article

  10. Use active verbs instead of passive. “Joe saw him well” and not “He was seen by Joe”

  11. Use precise verbs

  12. Don’t use adverbs. “Blared loudly” is pointless

  13. Sometimes adjectives are also pointless when the verb is strong, example: “Totally flabbergasted”

  14. Dash is used to justify or amplify in the second part of a sentence you stated in the first part. “We decided to get going — it was only 100 kms more”

  15. Colon is used for itemised list. “The ship stops at: Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi”

  16. ‘Yet’ and ‘But’ are strong mood changers

  17. Between ‘that and ‘which’ always use ‘that’ unless it makes your meaning ambiguous. If your sentence needs a common to achieve its precise meaning, it probably needs ‘which’. ‘Which’ mostly describes, or identify, or locate, or explain or otherwise quantify the phrase that preceded the comma. “Take the shoes that are in the rack” vs “The house, which had a roof”

  18. Don’t overstate things; You mostly didn’t consider jumping out of the window

  19. Often a difficult problem in a sentence can be solved by simply getting rid of it

  20. Keep paragraphs short

  21. Writing is visual — create imagery

  22. Whether it is people or places: write about details which are significant. Eliminate known attributes.

  23. As a travel writer find the central idea of the place you are dealing with

  24. Writing is just thinking on paper. Anyone who can think clearly can write clearly

  25. Scientific writing is just about leading readers who know nothing, step by step, to a grasp of subjects they thought they had no aptitude for. Start with a basic fact a reader has to know before he can learn anything more. With each subsequent sentence broaden what was stated before

  26. Business writing should be warm and personal, not pedantic and vague

  27. Don’t alter your voice to fit your subject. Develop one voice that the reader will recognise when they hear it on the page.

  28. Avoid using cliches

  29. Never hesitate to imitate another writer. It is part of the creative process for anyone learning an art or a craft. Find the best writers in the fields that interest you and read their work aloud.

  30. After verbs, plain nouns are a writer’s strongest tools; they resonate with emotion

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