How to Turn Vanilla Writing into Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

How to Turn Vanilla Writing into Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Reader Comments (11)

  1. These are some great tips. I wish they were in a PDF format so I could print it, but I’ll be sure to bookmark these. I struggle with opening and ending most of what I write. I tend to ramble on. These are great reminders. Thank you for sharing them!

    • You can print almost any web page to PDF. Just right-click on the content section and you will get a menu that includes the Print command (on a Windows computer, anyway)

  2. Love the point about keeping the backstory to a minimum. Nothing frustrates me more than 18 paragraphs of text at the beginning of an otherwise helpful post that is completely irrelevant to me. So many articles do this. Ugh. /venting.

  3. Kelly,

    I was pleased to see the comment about ‘that.’ Good for you!

    As an editor and proofer, my rate goes up when ‘fillers’ are more than 2% of the text.

    I have a personal vendetta against ‘that.’ (Found 987 of them in a 100-page book, once. No kidding. It’s the project where I learned to calculate the extra $$.)

    Not only must I remove most of them, sentences then (often) need restructuring. Time waster, but it pays well, now. ?

    Great article, and thanks for your time, K.

  4. Excellent article. Answered questions I had but couldn’t articulate. PDF would be brill but i’m Printing and getting this up on my board to cheque through after every article is written. Thanks.

  5. I’m terrible for cutting out passive voice when I edit other people’s work. I write fiction so I’ve had it drummed into me for the past ten years not to use ‘was’ or ‘had’ (apart from the few occasions where it makes sense). So it’s a good carryover into content writing!

  6. This was great. I write for an international audience, so I have to be careful with my “hooks.” As much as I’d love to start with a reference to Pulp Fiction or another American reference, I fear I might lose readers in far-off places. Any suggestions on using more universal hooks? (Ice cream can only go so far!) Thanks.

  7. I can’t help pointing out that in the US, at least, vanilla is by far the most popular flavor of ice cream. Not only is this surprising to a lot of people, it has relevance for the point you were making with this metaphor.

    While people may not be instagramming about vanilla ice cream, they are buying it – again and again and again. This means that if you can get your writing to the vanilla level (using your metaphor), you will be getting decent results.

    This means it’s far more important to master the basics, which you covered nicely in your post, than to get fancy in your writing.

  8. Hi Kelly, some really good advice which is great for someone like myself who struggles to make an article interesting.

    I was surprised by your comment on the word “that”. I had never thought about it before however now I will be trying to cull it out of my sentences. The adverb comments also got me thinking. Thanks.

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