21 thoughts on “18 Writing Hacks for Stronger Prose

  1. Jethro Lorenzo Lising March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    "Seem" kill me now

  2. Darth Pro March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    9:26 unless you're Atlas 🙂

  3. Mina Tan H March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    More squirrels than any Bob Ross video. Love it

  4. CassTeaElle March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I don't mean to be contrary, but I really feel like a lot of this type of advice is just not true to all people and is completely subjective.

    Take, for instance, your last example. You said "her gaze followed the squirrel… she was transfixed by its movement." You said that the last part wasn't necessary, because her gaze following the squirrel already implies that she's transfixed by its movement. I completely disagree. Your gaze can follow something for reasons other than being "transfixed" by it. The word "transfixed" has a more distinct implication than just saying that her gaze followed the squirrel.

    I don't think all of this is necessarily bad advice, but it's certainly not advice that needs to be followed as a rule or advice that is always better in every situation, to every reader. I also, personally, thought that sentence with the -ing verbs sounded better the first way. This advice is far from being universal and shouldn't be treated as a rule, in my opinion. Do what feels right to you. Some people will like it and some people won't. Personally, I love reading a book with vivid adjectives, and I think reading something that was trying to limit its adjectives and adverbs would be a very different feel. Not necessarily a bad one, but a different one. So I think this kind of advice clearly does, definitely, change the style of a piece of writing.

  5. Phosphorus March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Unless you want the SENTENCE to be a disaster! I'm serious!…

  6. Phosphorus March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Unless it's a REALLY furry squirrel. You could use fluffy or poofy though…

  7. Phosphorus March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Um…asphalt driveways are a thing you know…your feet feel hotter than on the sidewalk in the summer ,so maybe a concrete driveway…

  8. Eeshita D March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I hadn't realized there were so many things that made my prose weaker. Thanks for this!

  9. Jacob Mortensen March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    What is prose…

  10. Duke Traxxus March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Not sure if you're aware of this, but as a sinner myself, you tend to sound anxious as your sentences continue. Your sentences are fine, when we speak in a manner such as through YouTube or giving a live speech, we can't put ourselves in a story-esque dialogue to have concise sentences with action breaks in between. You are having a one-way conversation, and you need to be confident with what you're saying, because what you're saying is absolutely brilliant. If you spoke in your videos with less anxiety, and perhaps you've grown more confident in the months following this upload, you would undoubtedly sound more credible and more authoritative about what you're teaching your viewers.

  11. Amber Pond March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I don’t quite understand the conditional/past perfect verb section. I’m not that educated in English, so I’m not sure what the point of that is. Can you elaborate a little more?

  12. Rebecca A. Emrich March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    some excellent advice, ones I can use- the change in font/format looks like a good idea for me.

  13. Adam Skorupskas March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Thanks captain obvious

  14. Laura Giesbrecht March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    shrugs are totally fine if the character is careless about the current situation and its his or her reaction. everything in context.

  15. Kaela Creighton March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I struggle with using "didn't."

  16. Kaela Creighton March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    My novels burn. The squirrels laugh from the trees. I think I need to practice writing a short story with these tips. Seriously, you're a wonderful teacher. I hope you go into teaching. You'd do a lot of good.

  17. About Sex Podcast with Angela Skurtu March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I feel like this episode needed more squirrels. Four stars! Thanks for the info. I get a lot out of your videos.

  18. Jeremy Jenks March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    It began as a mistake.

  19. Charlie Hughes March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Lol. I love how you cut yourself off at 7:35.

  20. Don Ventura March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I just started replacing "ing" words where it made sense and, holy crap, it honestly has a really powerful effect on the pacing and the "punchiness" of sentences. It actually calls more attention to the action a character or object does. I've even started placing "ing" words near things I don't want the reader to notice, but I want them to recall later. I often write mysteries so this has become a useful trick, although I'm not truly certain that placing "ing" words makes actions less noticeable, but it makes sense in my head.

  21. Agaperion Rex March 14, 2018 at 4:29 am

    What's with this notion of ditching adverbs? So, don't use upwards of a quarter of the English language? Because… arbitrariness?

Leave a Reply