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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Editing Principle 10: You Need to Know Whether You’re in the Business of Reminding People of Things They Already Know, or in the Business of Asking Them to Change Their Minds

beijing

This principle’s not for professional writers or even aspiring professional writers. It is more of an issue for clients who are cobbling together a communications strategy. But it’s a good question — for anyone, really, publishing anything. Here it is again: You need to know whether you’re in the business of reminding people of things…

Editing Principle 09: Readers Want to Be Seen as Smart

carad

You’re always better off flattering an audience’s intelligence. If your audience smells even mild condescension, you lose their sympathy and may not get it back. But most condescension — in writing — is accidental. The most common way of unintentionally trying your audience’s patience is to elaborate on a concept that your audience doesn’t need…