Avoid Ambiguity in Your Nonfiction

Today’s post applies mainly to academic, prescriptive, or expository writing. Narrative nonfiction, especially memoir, can leave room for ambiguity. But if your book is meant to instruct, it needs to be clear. The main cause of incomprehensible prose is the difficulty of imagining what it’s like for someone else not to know something that you …

Ensure Your True-Life Anecdotes Are Really True

We finished the Voice section of the Elements of Nonfiction Editing Checklist, and now we move on to Information. You might think the information would come first—and it does, when you’re writing. This part of the editing process is an opportunity to double-check your facts. Writers and motivational speakers often use true-life anecdotes to illustrate …

Use Story to Make Your Ideas Stick

Folks like Copyblogger who teach copywriting often emphasize the importance of story. That’s because a story gives our hearts and minds something to hold on to. Stories make ideas sticky. But the thing is, the story has to be in your work for the right reasons. ☐ Anecdotes are engaging and relevant. Like flashbacks in …

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