Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Article Writing and the Zombie Clinic

As something of a zombie-phile, I couldn't resist Erin Kissane’s article Attack of the Zombie Copy. Not only is it funny, but it contains practical advice for cleaning up your writing. There are also two concrete examples of how not to write.

I tend to fluff up my business writing. The temptation to incorporate buzz words and lingo can be overwhelming if you don’t have enough direction. Your customer (or boss) may be enamored of those words, as well, and expect you to use them. If you must include them, minimize their presence. Be sure to put substance throughout the article or press release and use the fluff only as garnish. Otherwise, no one is going to read your piece anyway.

Using these fluffy, do-nothing words gives the impression that the company doesn’t know where they are going or what they are talking about. You might have difficulty convincing a client that a clear, concise statement is better than 6 yards of fuzz, however. Try sending them to this article, as it makes a sharp point without sacrificing the humor.

There are 17 articles in the A List Apart writing section and many of them are useful. When you’re done being entertained and enlightened over there, you can head over to articlesaboutcomputers.com (I know, horrible name) and read Ivan Kelly’s tips for using an outline to craft your article. The ideas in the first six paragraphs are sound. The rest could use a trip to the zombie clinic.




Very interesting, I checked out all the sources mentioned.