Pat Iyer’s Blog

Writing Skills

Creativity – A Benefit of Writing a Book

Creativity – A Benefit of Writing a Book

Writing a book stimulates your creativity. How often have you thought to yourself, “I’m not creative?” Have you marveled at the creativity of young children playing, wondering where on earth they come up with these crazy ideas? Creativity doesn’t disappear completely...

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09 The Power of a Good Headline

09 The Power of a Good Headline

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Location, location, location” in reference to buying or renting real estate. The concept of location also applies to an article or book. The prime real estate is the headline and the line that follows it. I know you are familiar with...

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Direct Quotes in Non-Fiction: Do it Right

Direct Quotes in Non-Fiction: Do it Right

You may be thinking that direct quotes belong exclusively in fiction. The truth is that you read either dialogue or direct quotes in non-fiction all the time—from news articles to blogs to books. Here’s an example from the CNN website. South Bend mayor and...

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Put Your Writing on a Diet

Put Your Writing on a Diet

Is there fat you can trim from your writing? Is it time to put your writing on a diet? Deleting redundant phrases makes your writing more professional. I wish I could say that one of the most dramatic signs of amateurish writing is using redundant phrases....

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We versus You – Being Clear

We versus You – Being Clear

As any driver knows, when you change lanes, you’re supposed to signal your intention to do so in order to warn drivers behind you. This helps to prevent accidents. Do you signal your intentions when you use we versus you? I’ve noticed that speakers and writers often...

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The Power of Headlines in Writing

The Power of Headlines in Writing

Many features can make or break the power of headlines to draw in a reader. Length Matters Google usually displays 50-60 characters of a headline, so, regardless of a headline’s length, the beginning needs to be compelling. In general, for English-language headlines,...

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Powerful Punctuation Point: Parentheses

Powerful Punctuation Point: Parentheses

She Lost a Job Opportunity Because of Punctuation Errors I know this because she lost a job with me. I looked at countless resumes when I had my own business. The moment I saw a typographical error, grammatical mistake, or punctuation error, I stopped reading. Do you...

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The Importance of Concise Writing

The Importance of Concise Writing

Talk about concise writing - it does not get any briefer. Today I saw an ad that popped up to the right of a YouTube video I was watching. It caught my eye because it was so concise. It read: New Need Now And the name of the product. In the world of writing, this is...

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Is a Cat a That? Correct Use of That

Is a Cat a That? Correct Use of That

Is a cow an “it”? What is the correct use of that? In order to answer these questions, I need to address a related grammatical question about the use of that. Is a Human a “That”? In the course of editing manuscripts, I began to notice that people seemed to be...

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The Treacherous Homophone

The Treacherous Homophone

A homophone is a word that sounds the same as another word but has a different meaning. Note that some of the word pairs aren’t pure homophones, such as lose and loose. I include them because they’re close enough to get easily confused. Lose/loose “Lose” is a verb...

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