Unveiling the Secret to Crisp Writing — 5 Tips For New Writers

Level up your writing game with these 5 proven tips for confident and crisp prose.

Unveiling the Secret to Crisp Writing — 5 Tips For New Writers
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

With the AI revolution around the corner, it’s important now more than ever to make your writing sound crisp, confident, and full of personality.

Based on my experience of publishing online since 2014, here are five small but powerful writing tips to dramatically improve your work quality and sound confident (with examples).

Most writers will miss these.

Don’t be like most writers.

1. Delete “that”

Previous — I learned that writing online can make money.

After — I learned writing online can make money.

Explanation: “That”s in your sentence slow your reader down and make your writing sound drab and boring. If you’ve been working with AI writing tools of late, you’d understand that text generated by AI uses a lot of “that”.

To make your writing crisp and easy to read, you know which word to delete first.

2. Delete words that don’t make a difference

Previous — Prevent any interruptions.

After — Prevent interruptions.

Explanation: Often, we tend to over-explain ourselves in our writing and add words that don’t really make any difference to the sentence if they were deleted. As you can see from the above example, deleting “any” conveys the same meaning with fewer words.

The hard part?

Spotting unnecessary words isn’t easy and comes with a lot of experience.

Here’s a fun exercise to eliminate unnecessary words from your writing (designed after Willian Zinsser):

  1. Take a printout of your article or story.
  2. Read through it thoroughly and bracket all the words that won’t make a difference to the sentence if deleted.

Do this enough times, and you’ll become a kickass editor.

3. Active voice >>> Passive voice

Passive — X can backfire if not managed well.

Active — X can backfire if you don’t manage your time well.

Explanation: Active voice can make your writing sound surer and more confident.

4. Delete “I’m sure” or, “I think” from the beginning of a sentence

Previous — I’m sure this strategy can work.

After — This strategy will work.

Explanation: When you’re the writer, it’s obvious that the views expressed in the article are your own. Adding “I think” or “I’m sure” only adds extra fluff, which can be easily done without.

This makes you sound more “sure” and confident.

5. Avoid cliches

Example: Whether you’re a beginner or a pro practitioner, this session will help you.

Explanation: This is one sentence I’ll most definitely find in the introduction of an article that’s generated by AI.

The reason?

AI tools are trained on the thousands of articles published online. Most articles repeat the same cliches, which become second nature to AI writing tools. Avoiding cliches like these helps you stand out from the crowd.

Final words

Summarizing, here are the five powerful writing tips to improve your work quality.

  1. Delete “that”
  2. Delete superfluous words
  3. Use active voice, not passive
  4. Delete “I’m sure” or, “I think” from the beginning of a sentence
  5. Avoid cliches

What writing tip would you recommend that has helped you over the years? Leave your thoughts and insights in the comments.

Love writing but don’t know where to start? Join my FREE 5-day course. It’ll teach you the framework that took me 5 years to master.

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