I was luxuriating in an email from a favourite writer the other day.

Her words sizzled, crackled and sparkled at me.

That takes some doing, given the numbness I feel at most stuff on my screen.

It got me to thinking about some elements that make a great message:

  • Short sentences, long pauses. Give us time to breathe
  • Emotive adjectives. Try Peachy, Wonderful, Estimable, Exquisite and Virtuoso instead of merely Great
  • Alternative verbs. Chowing Down, Munching, Gobbling and Wolfing usurp Eating for eye and brain candy
  • Inventive metaphors. “Waves of spam inundate my inbox” beats “I get lots of junk mail”
  • Tell a story. The more intense, surprising or plain weird, the better.
  • Ask questions, then answer them. Even “Guess What?” make the reader go, yes, what?
  • Most important: grammar, punctuation and spelling still DOES matter, and you’ll lose creds if you’re off-point.

Here’s to your sparkling prose!

Jonny

PS: My Monday Masterclass season gets underway with a one-hour special called Effortless Content Creation at 15.00UK on the 16th November. Want in? Reply with “Master” and I’ll make sure you get the link.

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