How to Write Damn Good Sentences

How to Write Damn Good Sentences

Reader Comments (21)

  1. Jerod, thanks for yet another great podcast! Lots of good stuff here.

    I’m going to try the summing up of a news story, blog post, etc. in one sentence and see how that works out. It will definitely be good practice in learning to write killer (damn good) sentences.

    Learning to “show” a story is a great way to gain a following rather than just “telling” a story. Creating a visual in my mind when I’m reading something really helps me remember what I’ve read. That’s what I’ll be trying to do from here on out with my writing.

    Thanks to Demian for his expertise!

  2. Thank you Damien and Jerod.

    Thank you for the article. To sum up the entire read in one sentence…
    To write a damn good sentence, keep it simple and vivid.
    (You can grade me, how else will I learn?)

  3. Does including “cuss” words in headlines increase the click rate? Copyblogger is the instrument that has taught me almost everything I know about blogging, which I do for a living. I am deeply indebted to the worthy writers and their instruction. But this disappoints me.

    • Jamie, we have definitely seen success with headlines including the word “damn.” (Between Demian and James Chartrand, I think we’ve covered all of the possible topics!) It makes the headline bolder than simply saying “good sentences,” while not going overboard or being shock-jocky like a stronger “cuss” word might do.

    • “Six Sentence Structures that Make Your Copy Less Appetizing than a Pus-Covered, Maggot-Infested Dog Carcass” gets attention, but you have to deliver to earn a fan base. Copyblogger does.

  4. I learned much about passive versus active voice Jerod during my article writing days. Clients pointed this out to me. Short and punchy rocks. Good sentences make a point and head off stage. Many bloggers stretch out posts or eBooks to reach imaginary, “good” word counts.

    Check out Seth Godin. He does fine blogging, correct? Why? He says much in few words. Embrace his wisdom. Make your point. exit stage left.

    I say what I have to say then exit. Create your content, make your point and allow your readers to read your posts, digest your content and to use the content for their benefit. This way works best for you and your audience. You get to have a life and your audience reaps immediate benefits from your work.

    Thanks Guys!

  5. Mr. Farnsworth you made me realize: I don’t trust my readers. My “readers” scan copy. They like pictures more than words. Pictures of dressed-up cats are more enjoyed by them than fetid swamps, old horses, or craggy rocks, although naked women are appreciated. Oops, passive voice infected that last damned sentence.

  6. Its exciting having a post that describes the 5 W’s (and the H) of writing. I don’t want to miss out on this episode of the LEDE. Its like a refresher course πŸ˜€

  7. Thanks Jerod and Damien for an excellent podcast, full of useful tips and advice. I have taken them on board and also ordered one of Hemingway’s masterpieces. Wonder if Amazon noticed a spike in demand for his books! I will leave you with glittering examples from two masters of the written word. I have scribbled them on a post it note, for inspiration. Many thanks.

    ‘For Sale. Baby’s shoes, never worn”. Ernest Hemingway
    “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov.

  8. Thanks for the listen Jerod. Some very interesting topics discussed there, if anything just teaching me that I have so much more to learn!

  9. active vs passive is a great tip. When I write an article, I aim for the shortest explanation possible. Most of the readers are skipping through the articles. Simple structure with proper titles, headlines and bullet points is vital.

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