Delivering Knockout Copy
Grammar Writing Tips: 5 Shortcuts to Powerhouse Copywriting
Copywriters spar with ideas. It’s not always pretty – they don’t always have the luxury of hitting with style and grace. Still, excellent writing for digital media draws from both creative writing and prizing grammar fundamentals.
Sometimes, it’s a knockout round of writing for a client’s voice, SEO, an editor, or other external criteria. Sometimes, as when writing for the internet or other digital media, the last thing a copywriter wants is to waste time tweaking grammar or dragging a metaphor to the ground by the horns.
Today I want to share with you 5 shortcuts to powerhouse copywriting. These writing tips are hard lessons I’ve learned after surviving a few editorial bell ringers of my own.
Round One: Shadowbox with Words
You don’t show up in the ring in your street clothes. You change and warm up first. With writing it’s the same way – get your head in the game.
Whatever the project: creative writing, writing for the internet, an article, digital media scriptwriting – use solid word choices that support the target tone or voice.
Lava: molten effluvia, or magma, that channels through the ground surface
Lava: hot, fiery red stuff
When the bell rings, get in your target’s head. The lead sentence, or lede, gets their attention, and draws them into the rest of the message. Whatever your purpose – even mundane copy can be a winner with a lead that comes out swinging.
Start strong. Endure.
If you follow only one strategy from these writing tips, make it a powerful lede.
Round Three: Land Your Grammar Punches
I started out in creative writing, I had favorite authors, they violated grammar at will – and made it work. Be it so. They could write life stories in eight words, or single sentences that wound on for pages. They breezed, and oh, eavesdropped and caught ‘em some, what you call dialect.
If you’re also a creative writer, at times, perhaps, you want to try some fancy footwork with style. Or follow stream of consciousness: speaking in one’s natural voice is an exotic accent to the majority of the world. Who’s more interesting than you?
But as a powerhouse writer, stick to communication over style. Drive toward brevity. Got two words? Use the shorter. Take breaths. Pace yourself. Go the distance.
Whether you’re writing copy for an editor, print or digital media broadcast – follow the rules of grammar. Runners run, trainers train, and editors sling red ink like a broken nose. In the main event between style and grammar – the round goes to – not who dances fanciest, but who lands the most hits.
Save your creative writing fancy footwork for the exhibitions. In the copywriting ring, jab, hook and weave with solid grammar fundamentals. Respect the grammar. Keep it off the ropes; or it will knock you back to your corner for a dazed rewrite – or worse, down and out on the canvas, on the bus to Palookaville.
Round Four: Clinch, Break, or Throw in the Towel
Deliver copy, grammar and creative writing that fits the voice and venue. Always punch above your weight – do battle with worthy opponents, projects that force you to exceed your capabilities. Don’t go thirteen rounds of rewrites where a round one knockout will do.
Even in transient digital media, take every fight, every writing project seriously. Don’t showboat when you’re outmatched. Know your weight class and stick to it.
In other words, refer projects that you can’t handle. Exceed expectations in every copy, content or creative writing project you take on. Most of all, learn from your experience; read edits, listen to feedback, and adapt. Save it all for the match.
Round Five: Claim Your Victory
In writing for the internet, a marketing campaign, or a drive to communicate difficult information, writing can run itself into a rut. The message can get mechanical. Research, quotations, and referencing can all mingle into little more than digital media regurgitation. All your punches are telegraphed.
Get your second wind. Go beyond what’s been done before.
Take the fight to a whole new level. Your level.
Own the ring, and go for the knockout conclusion.
You might just discover something burning through your writing and pumping up the crowd: your heart.
- I speaky Good English (http://www.geeksaresexy.net)