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  1. Angie Haggstrom wrote on

    Thank you Glenn. Say, does the long post mean I’m starting to rub off on you? Careful, it’s a nasty habit to break lol I’ve given up :)

    As for the rhythm found in writing, the points you bring up are absolutely correct. I addressed this when I talked about copy being music to a reader’s ears (and some help from Dorthy Dandridge!)

    In music, it’s the combination of notes, rests, and phrases that make a piece rhythmical. In writing, I truly believe it’s the same thing: syllables, punctuation, and phrasing.

    While the syllables keep the sentence moving forward, the combination of punctuation and syllables also seems to create a slight tension and release (the internal drive you have to go on to the next word). Everything needs to ebb and flow with a climax in order to sound ‘right’.

    For Example: “What you’ll be able to do after your 3-day Private CEO Session”

    You’ll feel yourself quicken when you read ‘be able to do’ because they’re light, short, and without emphasis because of the lack of nouns/verbs. It eases at the beginning and the end evenly. When I read it, the ‘climax of the phrase’ occurs on the ‘3-day Private’, which is the most important part of the sentence i.e. the part that you want the reader to remember most.

    Make sense?

  2. Dean at Pro Copy Tips wrote on

    Excellent post. These things are hard to teach. Understanding such things as rhythm, transitions, and the proper use of contractions is so subjective, it’s nearly impossible to create rules for their use.

    You might add “intelligent redundancy.” Example: free gift. Yes, it’s redundant and will give fainting spells to writing purists. But any experience copywriter will know that “free gift” is just not the same as “gift.”

  3. Donna Spencer wrote on

    Thanks Glenn. This is fantastic. It will be sooooo handy when I’m stuck on a boring passage…which happens far too often!

  4. Martine Howell wrote on

    I am printing this post right now. Thank you for posting this. I’ve never written a blog before and now I’m keeping up with posts for two of my public relations classes. I never realized how much work goes into a blog. I’ve had a difficult time the last few months perfecting my writing skills and trying to become a better communicator. This post is just what I needed! You have given me some great tips on how to better my copy. I know this will come in handy not only for my classes that I blog in, but also for the rest of my classes.

  5. Pingback: Blog Comments « PR Social Media & Writing

  6. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Hi Martine. Thanks for your kind words. Don’t worry; we’re all busy trying to perfect our writing! :)

  7. Susan Greenberg wrote on

    Small point, but for wordsmiths an important one – There is a difference between “emotion/al” and “emotive”. The word “emotive” carries a negative connotation of psychological manipulation. If you mean emotive, then I would question whether that is a desireable quality.

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