100 ways to improve your writing - Gary Provost 2019

100 ways to improve your writing - Gary Provost 2019


Nine ways to improve your writing when you’re not writing

Get some reference books

Expand your vocabulary

Improve your spelling


Take a class



Write in your head

Choose a time and place

Nine ways to overcome writer’s block

Copy something

Keep a journal

Talk about what you’re writing

Touch your toes

Do Writing exercises

Organize your material

Make a list

Picture a reader

Ask yourself why you are writing

Five ways to write a strong beginning

Find a slant

Write a strong lead

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Set a tone and maintain it

Begin at the beginning

Nine ways to save time and energy

Use pyramid construction

Use topic sentences

Write short paragraphs

Use transitional phrases

Don’t explain when you don’t have to

Use bridge words

Avoid wordiness


Stop writing when you get to the end

Ten ways to develop style

Think about style

Listen to what you write

Mimic spoken language

Vary sentence length

Vary sentence construction

Write complete sentences

Show, don’t tell

Keep related words together

Use parallel construction

Don’t force a personal style

Twelve ways to give your words power

Use short words

Use dense words

Use familiar words

Use active verbs

Use strong verbs

Use specific nouns

Use the active voice . . . Most of the time

Say things in a positive way . . . Most of the time

Be specific

Use statistics

Provide facts

Put emphatic words at the end

Eleven ways to make people like what you write

Make yourself likable

Write about people

Show your opinion

Obey your own rules

Use anecdotes

Use examples

Name your sources

Provide useful information

Use quotations

Use quotes

Create a strong title

Ten ways to avoid grammatical errors

Respect the rules of grammar

Do not change tenses

Know how to use the possessive case

Make verbs agree with their subjects

Fix dangling modifiers

Avoid shifts in pronoun forms

Do not split infinitives

Beware these common mistakes

Be sensitive to changes in the language

Prefer good writing to good grammar

Six ways to avoid punctuation errors

Use orthodox punctuation

Know when to use a comma

Know when to use a semicolon

Know when to use a colon

Use exclamation points only when exclaiming and question marks only when asking questions

Know how to use quotation marks

Twelve ways to avoid making your reader hate you

Avoid jargon

Avoid clichés

Avoid parentheses

Avoid footnotes

Don’t use transitions to conceal information

Don’t acknowledge when you should explain

Don’t hide behind your words

Don’t intrude

Don’t play word games

Don’t play the Tom Wolfe game

Don’t play the mystery game

Don’t cheat

Seven ways to edit yourself

Read your work out loud

Cut unnecessary words

Think about what you have written

Ask yourself these questions

Follow these rules of form for titles

Prepare a perfect manuscript

Use common sense

About the author