– Plus Life and Times of carolkmail

You Can Say Nothing in 500 Words?

We have already determined that I am the queen of say nothing in many words. But 500 words of say nothing is quite a fete, even for the ever so talented say nothing me.

Hard as it might seem for you to believe, I like reading. Widely. My current reading portals are reddit.com and stumbleupon.com. These two are gems, especially if you take as much time online as I tend to do. This, my dear readers is where I came across an article ‘How to Say Nothing in 500 Words’. Having determined I am the mistress illusionist, we definitely know that the title is completely misleading.

Misleading, in a good way, this one is! It teaches you how not to fall into the cliché category of writers. Pitfalls to avoid. By the way, this I don’t do often but as a writer, you need to catch good reads, advice and writing skills from brilliant writers. Point is not to compare yourself with them, but to improve your writing and expose you to more writing techniques. Clearly, that has not helped me much, but then again, this blog is never about me. Well, mostly its never about me. Probably… O never mind. Back to you.

So, the pointers mentioned herein include; making a list of things that first come to your mind on a certain topic and ensuring you do not mention them. Reason? Most likely everyone else will think of the same things. Don’t tell the obvious. Another, is take the less usual side. This one I call, be the ‘Devil’s Advocate’. Just so you know, I play the perfect advocate. Moving on… In every topic, there is the one issue that people will avoid. Herein lies your chance to address it. Makes you look brilliant. Avoid being abstract. Give examples. Especially ones you can back up, should a reader ask a question. Avoid excess padding. Aka, don’t be me, going round in circles. I am allowed, but you, looking to make a name need to get lean and mean with sentences. This also makes your articles short and precise. Avoid what I call ‘ego phrases’ Like “in my humble opinion” or “the way I see it”. Other than being highly irritating, it adds no value, just extra unnecessary words. It’s your writing, so we know it is your opinion. Apparently, “all things being equal” is called a Pat Expression. I wouldn’t even know how to use it in a sentence. Good thing you are not supposed to keep using it, if you are aspiring to be a good writer. This is where the article completely won me over. It approves the use of colorful words like ‘spectacular’ instead of ‘good’, colored words, which are words that carry quite some weight or conjure more than one image, like ‘park’, which may bring images of calm, play, peace, birds, The colored words may vary depending on the nature of your article. Avoid, by all means, colorless words, unless you are trying to lull your readers to sleep. These can only be used in conversations, and selectively at that! Words like ‘well’ ‘good’ ‘nice’ are so nondescript. I’d venture to say dead even!

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Do as I say. Not as I do. And if there is one blog I recommend, it would be Dosh Dosh. Tips I have gathered there are priceless!

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4 responses

  1. I can easily say nothing in 500.

    July 5, 2010 at 6:43 am

    • carolkmail

      You and me both partner!

      July 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

  2. Politicians say nothing in like 10,000 words, but theirs is of course oral as they don’t know how to write…

    July 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    • carolkmail

      Haha! They do, don’t they? Wait, does that mean I have exhibited the potential to be a literate, can-write politician? *really analyses the possibilities* 🙂

      July 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

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