Thursday, September 1, 2011

Write like you (should) speak

Plain English. Simple language. Conversational style. I'm all for it.

Often, this approach is called "writing like you speak" -- advice that doesn't take into account how some people talk.

One guy I know sounds like a corporate memo, even when speaking to his kids -- with planned discussions and agreements about coming to an understanding.

Another is the opposite, sounding more like a kid (OMG!) than an adult.

And others ramble on and on (and on), without any sure path toward clear meaning or interesting storytelling.

What's a writer to do? These postings have some observations and suggestions:
  • Don't Write Like You Talk by Robert Warren offers several solid tips about writing in a conversational tone.
  • How to Write Like You Talk by Richard Skaare has three recommendations for upgrading the quality of written conversations.
  • Miss Lola writes like she speaks and says, "both are lacking discipline."
Here's what I suggest if your speaking or writing style are somewhat suspect: Write like other people talk -- people you find interesting, persuasive, easy to understand. If you copy their effective communication styles long enough, you will surely end up creating one that's distinctly your own.

And when that happens, I want to hear all about it.

Peace out.

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