Do you care about communicating well? Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep the attention of one’s readers. When I write stories, I find keeping the reader’s attention is easier than with non-fiction. But, even with stories, weak writing is boring. There’s an old saying that good writing is good editing. The idea is that it is hard to write things well in a first draft. 100 years ago, improvements only came with time and work. Now, with good tools, strong writing comes faster and easier. For example, we learn in school to avoid the passive voice because it weakens our writing. And yet, re-reading takes time. The more things you are looking for in your writing, the longer the editing takes. If a tool could find some of those common, easy to fix mistakes for you, wouldn’t that make it less work to write well? That’s what this first tool does. Give it a try! It is free. Click the link.

Sometimes I find that I don’t have any ideas. At the end of a long day, I sometimes feel dried up and can’t think of anything to write. When I can find an inspiring word picture on a topic I want to write about, that can help a lot with getting started. This next “tool” is actually a book, but I call it a tool because it is a reference work. It has 2750 quotations which all include metaphors. If you search on a topic you want to write about, you’re sure to find something inspirational. Oh, and it is free.

I find it annoying, but when I open PDF files on my iPhone, the iPhone book app will only read to me one page at a time. If I have a file in epub format, FBReader will read the whole thing to me if I’m willing to sit there long enough (at least, on an android device it will. I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet on iPhone. The app is fairly new on iPhone.) So, being able to convert to ePub is a pretty cool thing to be able to do.

This next web page has another awesome tool. Particularly when I’m tired or frustrated, I don’t always notice myself being negative. With this tool, the negativity can’t sneak up on me! Of course, a skilled, open, honest proof reader might spot negativity and help you get rid of it. I don’t have a proof reader who is patient enough do that with everything I write. An artificial intelligence powered web page:

  • Never gets frustrated with me
  • Is always there
  • Isn’t offended when insulted or cursed at

Your mileage may vary, but this has been helping me a lot.

Story Structures

Four Word Story Structure

Somebody wanted __________________ but ________________ so__________________

Simplest structure possible. This gives you a way to craft story where you only need to keep four words in your head, and yet it provides you with a protagonist, a conflict, a struggle and a resolution. For more information on how to use this (and other story structures) for business writing, enroll in my mailing list here.

Hero’s Journey

I have followed this structure to write a story which was only 200 words, but it was challenging. Depending on who’s rendition of this you read, this might have 8-17 steps. So, this is much more complicated, which makes it challenging to fit this into an advertisement. This might be more like a series of emails or a long form sales letter.