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Write Like a Pro Checklist

Judy Cullins, Guest Author

Sure you can write, but can you write crisp, compelling copy that eZINE publishers, related Web sites, and general audiences will clamor for?

Your articles, reports and books need to pass the checklist below to sell:

Check box 1.  Make your title or headlines grab your reader by the collar. Include a benefit if possible or be outlandish.

Check box 2.  Create your opening paragraph to entice your reader continue. In fiction, start with the most important incident first. Use dialogue! In non-fiction, state the problem and offer a benefit (thesis).

Check box 3.  Make all parts of your non-fiction book, report, or article support the thesis.

Check box 4.  Be sure you have at least 5 people who write edit your piece before the final professional edit.

Check box 5.  Make sure all your verbs are a consistent tense. Make the better choice of present or past tense rather than past-perfect or gerunds.

Check box 6.  Use strong, emotional or visual, power verbs rather than linking verbs like "to be." Action verbs keep your story moving, so your reader won't be bored.

Check box 7.  Use metaphors so your piece shows instead of tells.

Check box 8.  Use picture and emotional words to replace telling words such as adverbs and adjectives. Show what suddenly looks like.

Check box 9.  Make sure your facts are accurate. Check with your librarian or the Web.

Check box 10.  Corral your writing into concise, compelling sentences. In the first edit, reduce all redundancies. Do not preach.

Check box 11.  Do not over-describe with flowery descriptions. Let your characters speak the mood in dialogue.

Check box 12.  Make sure your piece is coherent. Test whether it flows or sounds natural by reading it aloud. Then, correct it before you pass it on for feedback.

Check box 13.  To make dialogues believable, make them short, not speeches. Use "said" rather than "screamed," "pouted." Show these in your character's action. "Said" is like a comma, and readers don't like to be slowed or talked down to.

Check box 14.  Make sure you write your thesis for non-fiction and theme for fiction down before you write that chapter or article. This gives your work a center, a focus and helps you organize your thoughts. All chapters and paragraphs should support the thesis.

The thesis for this article is:  Write like a pro is a checklist for all writers who want to be published.

Check box 15.  Make your viewpoint consistent. If you start your story in first person, then make sure the whole chapter is from the "I"s point of view. All other characters are seen through only your eyes. Put your character's comments into dialogue.

Get published! Use the above checklist to guide you to business success.


Copyright © - Judy Cullins. - Reprinted with permission. Judy is an author, publisher, and book coach. She helps writers manifest their book dreams. 24 clients published since 1999! "Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!" - Send an e-mail to The Book Coach Says... For 2 free eReports

  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Author & Speaker Coaching for specific details and fees.

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