Jessica Perini Editorial Services > Writing tips and tricks

Writing tips and tricks

Rules I use as a part of my writing staple diet include:
twist clichés to your own purposes;
if you can’t twist clichés trash them;
use irony;
don’t state the obvious;
insert the unexpected — surprise yourself!;
tell the truth; and
when it’s not possible to tell the truth make sure you’re weaving a spectacular lie!

Following are some fun writing exercises to inspire and guide you along the road to writing success.

Exercise number 1 — Twisted job application challenges you to activate verbs and throw out passive, lazy sentences, by avoiding the words ‘is’ and ‘are’.


Exercise number 2 — An even more twisted job application. When you’ve written your job application, try doing the exercise again, this time eliminating other forms of the verb ‘to be’. Ruling out phrases like ‘I am’ and ‘have been’, will make your life much harder, but the result will be so much more imaginative!

Jessica Perini Editorial Services > Writing tips and tricks

Exercise number 1 — Twisted job application

The following exercise, inspired by the book Sin and Syntax (by Constance Hale) challenges you to activate your verbs and throw out passive, lazy sentences. Try to answer this job ad without using ‘is’ or ‘are’ even once. I've included an application I wrote myself, to give you an example.

The job advertisement

Position: Creative know-it-all person

We are looking for an active person, with a working knowledge of the fine things in life. This person can improvise when placed in difficult situations, and is easily adaptable to a changing work environment. The successful candidate will be devoted to human rights and diplomacy. Accepting instructions and working as a team member is a must, however the applicant will need to demonstrate self-confidence and the ability to fight fairly for their ideas. Knowledge of written and spoken English is a must. The applicant must know the rules so as to bend and break them when necessary. Yoga is provided free once a week in this equal opportunity environment. Describe your qualifications, with particular reference to the essential skills required.

Read my response