We live in an era of social media trends and data analysis. All of these tools mean nothing without a good story.

Here are five tips to liven up your long written content for the visual media era.

Content publishers realize the need to produce complete stories with multiple types of media assets. That means quality producers will be in demand.

If we want a full destiny, then we must take the necessary actions to make it appear.

When November began, I stated my intent to use the #NaNoWriMo writeathon as A method to start writing my next novel, The War to Persevere: Book 2 of the Fundamentalists. One month later I have written 15,000 words or just under a third of what qualifies as a novel. Generally, I met my goal for #NanoWriMo,, and wrote most days, […]

Being an egomaniac author with an inferiority complex, I commissioned a Helix Review to analyze Exodus against all published works within The Book Genome Project as well as making specific comparisons to titles in the science fiction genre. The big data mash-up tells you a ton about how your book works and your particular writing style. So the first thing you […]

One of the best compliments people have given to Exodus is that the first chapter grabs them, and launching them right into the text. So I decided to share how this chapter was crafted. First of all, before I begin let me say not everyone likes the book. I’m not painting Exodus out to be the second coming of the […]

So I thought it might be talk about creating fictional characters as we head into the weekend. On that note, when writing about folks I prefer boiling unpredictability into characters, or a little bit of crazy. When reading or watching stories, I prefer main characters who screw up, make bad decisions, flip flop, and do other things that generally drive […]

As one of my projects, Vocus asked me to program the Demand Success 2013 conference (6/20-21), their first marketing conference open to the general public. Last week we announced our second major keynote, Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy Olsen on Mad Men. I was tickled that the buzz revolved around Mad Men, and not the presence of two strong ladies […]

Every long writing project has one: The wall. Research paper, novel, non fiction book, even a massive web site rewrite. They all have that moment when I want to run away. Believe me when I say this, the writing wall is worse than your average writer’s block. It’s a malaise.

The rush to become officially integrated into the Google Author Rank system or has begun. It’s unfortunate, because Google Authorship forces weighted search rankings that favor popularity and SEO skills over substance. If content creators want to optimize our chances of being read, what choice do we have but to implement the system? Our search results depend on it. There […]

Current content conversations focus on the written word as conveyed via interactive or print. That’s about to shift toward more immersive media experiences, forcing marketers to write and design for live environments. Immersive media creates a new demand for dramatic writing skills, usually the domain of more artistic forms such as plays, films and broadcast. The crossroads is here. While […]

Today’s digital web threatens the very existence of expository style. Consider the plight of the traditional paragraph. What makes a good paragraph? The expression of a complete idea. Though writing experts acknowledge that new media cause the ever diminishing paragraph, they still recommended writers communicate one idea per block of sentences. However, the destruction of parenthetical form continues, pushed forward […]

Image by Mad African! The best way to spruce up boring business writing? Activate verb tense, parse run-ons into multiple sentences, and add the what’s in it for me (WIFM) factor. Yes, some colleagues focus on grammar, but when I edit business text these are the first three things my red pen seeks out. Inevitably business text crams an overt […]

Image by Mr. C90 Mark Schaefer wrote a great piece about how headlines make or break reads in this attention economy. In that vein, I leave many posts within the first minute creating a website bounce. The dreaded bounce occurs when someone who visits your site and leaves after viewing a singular page. Usually they leave because the site lacked […]

Image by deathtiny41 In a world driven by social network and search engine marketing, you live and die by headlines. Today’s social media blogosphere discussion revolves around content marketing, but little is said about the actual headlines. Too bad. Writing great headlines matters more than ever. Attention spans have shrunk, and if you can’t interest someone right off the bat […]

Stories told across multi-platform media environments — or transmedia stories as they are commonly called on the edge — require more complex writing. A story unfolds across diverse media with readers/viewers opting in to each layer. At the same time, as writers we want to build an experience that satisfies casual consumers on the first level without requiring them to […]

Image by Ksenia Krneychuk After my speech two weeks ago on blogging, a TribeUp NYC attendee asked me how to differentiate content. I’m sure other strategists have their methods, but here’s how I do it. There’s one critical precursor to success: You must possess substantial knowledge about your topic area, and keep abreast of current trends, not only in the […]

“I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” David Ogilvy If there’s one consistent mistake I’ve made over the years, it’s […]

Image by grafician Yes, I know. There’s a typo. Almost everything I write has a typo. Before you rush to deliver an admonishment or advise about proofing more, the fine art of editing, blah, blah, blah, please wait. Believe it or not, I proof these posts, as many as five or six times before publishing.

Image by Alan Weir After writing professionally for two decades in a variety of media and roles, several key attributes clearly distinguish a great writer. Some of these are ideals that others are better at, some of them are personal strengths. Here’s a look at my top five: 1) Transcending Medium Great bloggers, strong journalists and fantastic authors impress us […]

Image by hashmil Writing two unpublished novels, two business books, and a graduate thesis teaches you a thing or two about long writing projects. Long form writing can be grueling in nature, lasting six months or even a year. When beginning such a project, it helps to have a writing program, very similar in nature to a training program that […]

Image by Jeffrey W Much has been said good and bad about using the first person singular — me, myself and I — in social media and other forms of writing. It’s a voice of free expression or the epitome of narcissism. So what should an aspiring writer do? The first person voice provides a narrative view or discussion with […]

Go to enough social media conferences (like two maximum), and you will inevitably have a conversation about the cliche, “Everyone’s written a book.” This meme references the seemingly endless proliferation of social media books published. Consider this author a two-timer in that sense. But in reality, the meme isn’t true. It’s really hard to write a book. This brutal, laborious […]

In an effort to increase writing quality, one month ago this blog took on the Me, Myself and I Challenge. The behind the challenge assumes that by eradicating obvious references to blogger narcissism via the words “my, myself and I,” people would find the content on the blog much more interesting. Indeed, the above results overwhelmingly confirm the theory. Traffic […]

Episode 36 of the El Show featured McCain’s possible fall from electoral success, should Obama even run in 2012, and writers (what makes one). Here’s the breakdown of Episode 36: McCain runs out of political capital The state of political dissatisfaction Should Obama not run in 2012? Issues with tissues. Geoff explains why, Richard throws some cold water on Geoff […]