Category: Self-editing tips

Here you’ll find tips to improve your writing—instantly. If you have a writing problem or question you’d like me to write a post about, please contact me.

Your Best Story tip #10 — FREEWRITING: Thinking on Paper 

FREEWRITING is thinking on paper. And in this video, I talk about how it can help you in your thought and writing process. Warm regards, Niels Kwakernaak Writer and Editor @ Your Best Story – Writing & Editing Services www.yourbeststory.net

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #9 — The Reverse Outline

Do you want to improve your blog instantly? In this video, I show you a tried and true way to assure that: You hook your reader Your reader will be able to follow your argument You won’t wander off and lose your reader’s attention Your blog or article keeps resonating in your reader’s mind I’m…

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #8 — The semicolon in compound sentences

What in the world are semicolons good for? In this video, I discuss one function of this often-misunderstood punctuation mark. (By the way, how do you like my piano jingle at the end? That is what came out of me when I sat behind my old upright this morning. ;)) Kind regards, Niels Kwakernaak Writer…

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #7 — Self-editing like Orwell and Tolkien

What is the secret of great writers like Orwell and Tolkien? Self-editing! Master writers—in fiction as well as business writing—know how to kill their darlings. In this video, I compare a few early drafts of works by Orwell and Tolkien with their final, published versions. Enjoy!

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #6 — Be consistent

What is the worst writing error ever? My vote goes to subject-verb disagreement. Especially when authors use long and complicated sentences, the result is often catastrophic—the writer loses his way in the forest of words, and as a result, the reader has no idea of who is doing what. This, of course, is bad news…

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #5 — The audience ARE?

Can you say “the audience ARE going to a meet and greet”? In this video, I talk about the how and why of subject-verb agreement and the big exception to the rule.

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #4 — The couple: singular or plural?

Is it “the couple showed its engagement rings” or “the couple showed their engagement rings”? This is a common question, and since I like talking about language questions: here’s my video about it! If you have questions you’d like me to create a video about, please let me know!

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #3 — Reducing flab

Are your friends saying your prose is hard to read? Then this writing tip is for you. As a beginning writer, I was convinced that adverbs and adjectives were the keys to the magic portals of writing. I adverbed every sentence to a slow and labored death—lengthening their runs with my incomprehensible modifier fetish. But…

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #2 — One sentence, one thought

A sentence should represent one complete thought. If you try to cram more than one idea into it, your sentence will refuse to bend to your will. With such obstinate candidates, here’s but one thing to do: get your axe, and break them up. If your sentence comprises two or more independent clauses, here are…

continue reading
No Comments

Your Best Story tip #1 — Be relentless about your rewriting

Always assume every sentence you write in your draft will have to be rearranged or replaced at least thrice, and more often than you like, you’re going to have to throw away the words you love the most. Be relentless. Your reader will thank you.

continue reading
No Comments