Storytelling is your writing tool, whether for fiction, or non-fiction essay. Story is the new secret weapon in communication for non-fiction, a tool that’s been proven through the charms of fiction over the ages. Non-fiction writers can use the structure and arc of a story to teach or make a point, always in service of transmitting an idea or an experience to a more receptive readership.
Meaning, sense, and clarity: These three foundational blocks in the tower of writing make everything else possible. Write sentences that say what we mean; to ensure that our logic makes sense; employ the clarity of economy to make our writing succinct.
Paragraphs and the unit of meaning: Break down a long piece of writing into units of ideas. Locate those that may be most effective at the length of a single sentence, for emphasis.
Commas, colons, periods and other stops: Practice the use of various kinds of punctuation: those methods that give effective writing good flow, as well as simplifying ideas.
Making muscular writing: Strong writing flows from using straightforward words and stronger nouns and verbs. Muscular writing emerges from a branch-to-the-right structure. Vary sentence lengths to create powerful writing.
Looking for language: Study skills to expand vocabulary while keeping our message clear. Practice how to choose Saxon- vs. Latinate-rooted words and eliminate clichés.
Propelling your pace: Working with the concept of the Gold Coin – essential moments of each communication, spread like coins throughout – practice skills to master pace.
The road to revision: The power of the second pass is essential. Practice making first drafts smaller and compact, as well as finding the redundant expressions that are common to those early drafts.