Public Relations & Social Media Insight
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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
Social media, PR insight & thought leadership - from The PR Coach
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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The writing process for Putting Stories to Work

The writing process for Putting Stories to Work | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
I’m often asked how I wrote Putting Stories to Work. People want to know about the writing process and how I did the research. I had similar questions before I started including, How many words do I need to write? How many chapters should it be? What’s the best word processor? So in this post I want to share with you what I learned.

First let me describe the type of book I wanted to write. First and foremost it was important the book was replete with stories. It’s a capital offence to talk about storytelling and not tell a story. I also wanted it to be a practical book, a bit like David Allen’s How to Get Things Done. It was important that it was research based. I didn’t want to just say, for example, that stories are memorable without pointing to research that backs up my statement. I also wanted to share this research as stories of the experiments. This meant I was on the hunt for experimental research rather than theories. I read a lot of business books and I was inspired by Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink and the Heath brothers, to name a few.
Jeff Domansky's insight:

Shawn Callahan shares his writing process for his recent book on storytelling. If you're planning a book, it's worth reading.

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Topic of the Night: Writing a Novel in Seven Days: Chapter Ten

Topic of the Night: Writing a Novel in Seven Days: Chapter Ten | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The Challenge is Simple.


Day One: 3,000 words.


And then each day after that add 1,000 words to the amount needed. Seven days, if my math is right, I will have a 42,000 word novel.


3,000… 4,000… 5,000… 6,000… 7,000… 8,000… 9,000 words.


7 Days.


Day Seven (9,000 word day)


Got the book done!!!!


The goal today was at 9,000 words and needed to be the focus of my day because I had no idea how many words I would actually need to end this book. I had 3,000 words in the bank, so that helped the worry some....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Can't vouch for the quality, but there are no excuses not to write your first or next novel, book, family history, or autobiography. Even easier, cut the word count in half and do it in two weeks.

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Creative Writing 101

Creative Writing 101 | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Writing of any sort is hard, but rewarding work – you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction from a finished piece. Being creative can also be difficult and challenging at times, but immensely fun.

 

How to get started

 

Many people think that just because they’ve read a lot of stories (or even if they haven’t!) they should be able to write one. But as Nigel Watts writes:

 

There is a common belief that because most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith. … That’s what I thought until I tried to write my first novel. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them.(Nigel Watts, Teach Yourself Writing a Novel)...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Writers will enjoy this inspiring post. Recommended reading! 9/10

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Antonio Ormachea's curator insight, March 29, 4:03 PM

Writers will enjoy this inspiring post. Recommended reading! 9/10

Andrea Rossi's curator insight, March 30, 3:47 AM

Writers will enjoy this inspiring post. Recommended reading! 9/10

Luke Padilla's curator insight, April 4, 1:41 PM

Writers will enjoy this inspiring post. Recommended reading! 9/10

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Awesome Copywriting Examples | Web lessons by Jonah Lopin | Crayon

Awesome Copywriting Examples | Web lessons by Jonah Lopin | Crayon | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Any description I write for this collection will pale in comparison to the excellent copywriting examples contained herein.

Jeff Domansky's insight:

A Crayon collection of web designs and awesome copywriting examples by Jonah Lopin. Recommended reading for inspiration. 9/10

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Mike Allen's curator insight, March 26, 4:53 AM

A Crayon collection of web designs and awesome copywriting examples by Jonah Lopin. Recommended reading for inspiration. 9/10

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Surprising Punctuation Habits of Famous Authors, Visualized

Surprising Punctuation Habits of Famous Authors, Visualized | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Hemingway actually used denser punctuation than Jane Austen, William Faulkner, or Charles Dickens.and the way they use punctuation. Yet how much can the way authors use punctuation really reveal about their style? 


Plenty, it turns out.Over on Medium, Adam Calhoun decided to strip eight of his favorite novels down to just the punctuation. The novels he chose were James Joyce'sUlysses, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, and William Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom!...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Writers alert! A fascinating analysis of writers and their punctuation habits. Recommended reading. 9/10

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rodrick rajive lal's curator insight, February 29, 11:39 PM

That the use of punctuation marks defines the author is something interesting but a well known fact. The use of long sentences, often running into entire paragraphs was distinctive to Ernest Hemingway. Of special importance is the use of punctuation marks in stream of consciousness novels. It is profoundly encouraging to know that people still feel that punctuation marks continue to be importance even in times when we are veering away from fixed rules of grammar and conventions. However to experiment with punctuation marks requires one to be well versed with the rules. Writers are today experimenting with hyphens instead of commas as the hyphen suggests a deepep pause than the comma, and it is visually more appealing. In times when the visual impact is more sought after, the presence of puntuation marks, especially the exclammation mark, the hyphen, and the semi-colon is on the increase, while the comma takes a back seat. It is interesting to see how the English language is evolving from a perceived, nuanced and subtly styled language into a more visual and upfront language.

Antonio Ormachea's curator insight, March 3, 2:38 PM

Writers alert! A fascinating analysis of writers and their punctuation habits. Recommended reading. 9/10

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10 Simple Edits That'll Instantly Improve Any Piece of Writing

10 Simple Edits That'll Instantly Improve Any Piece of Writing | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Editing copy boils down to two key things: recognizing weaknesses and knowing how to fix them. It’s a critical part of the writing process and yet, one that’s all too often overlooked. After all, if you don’t know that there’s an issue to begin with, how can you fix it?

That's why, if you struggle with editing, you’re going to love this article ...
Because by the end of it, you’ll be armed with 10 powerful, uber-specific editing actions that’ll make your copy more addictive, engaging, and compelling than it was before you got to work revising it. Whether you’re writing a landing page, a blog article, an email, or a web page, making the following changes will have a profound impact on your readers.

Namely, these edits will make them more likely to do what you want them to do -- and that’s what great copy is all about....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

These writing and editing tips will make your work better.

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15 outstanding podcasts for writers

15 outstanding podcasts for writers | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Podcasts are the perfect way to listen to a conversation about your writing craft or business. Think of it as professional development—accompanied by a chance to rest your eyes.


Podcasts aren’t new, but they’re seeing an exciting surge in listenership. The problem with podcasts is that there are so many options to choose from.


There’s no shortage of writing-focused podcasts by amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 15 podcasts worth subscribing to.


Let the writer beware: You might find yourself binge-listening for hours....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Podcasts are getting popular and attracting large audiences.

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Part 1... of a 10-Part Crash Course on Story - Storyfix.com

Part 1... of a 10-Part Crash Course on Story - Storyfix.com | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

One of the reasons writing a great novel is so challenging is that there is no obvious starting place.  Is it a character?  A premise?  A theme?  A single sentence that won’t get out of your head?


While that argument continues to rage, what remains in less dispute is this: there are a set of principles and essential elements that, before the story works, you need to get right.  With that in mind, this series introduces – reintroduces, actually, since these are the foundation of this body of work, and my three writing books – ten of those essential elements.


Today’s post defines and explores the one that is in the running for that Square One focus….

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Larry Brooks promotes the perfect starting point for a novel -- start with a concept and build a premise.

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All merger announcements are bullshit, Dell-EMC included - without bullshit

All merger announcements are bullshit, Dell-EMC included - without bullshit | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The fantasy world of merger announcements bears no resemblance to the reality of mergers. Michael Dell’s post about the Dell-EMC merger is a fine example.


Why do companies merge? There’s always language about “complementary skills and assets,” but that’s always bullshit. There is always language about “serving customers better” but that is also bullshit.


Companies merge for growth — period. It’s not about customers. It’s about money.There are two basic merger scripts, none of which you will ever read, and both of which are bad for customers....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Watch the weasel words says Josh Bernoff

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Friday Funnies #192 Nun Grading Papers

Friday Funnies #192 Nun Grading Papers | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

As you know I get most of my jokes for Friday Funnies in my inbox. Today’s Friday Funnies isn’t so much a joke as it’s the funny things that some kids came up with at a Catholic elementary school test.


Can you imagine a nun sitting at her desk grading these papers , all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure!


Pay special attention to the wording and spelling . If you know the Bible even a little, you'll find this hilarious!


It comes from a Catholic elementary school test. Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testament.


The following 25 statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected. Incorrect spelling has been left in....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Writers and bloggers take note. Friday Funnies indeed.

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The man with no plot: how I watched Lee Child write a Jack Reacher novel

The man with no plot: how I watched Lee Child write a Jack Reacher novel | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Andy Martin spent much of the past year with author Lee Child as he wrote the 20th novel in his Jack Reacher series. Here he describes Child’s bold approach to writing.


Nobody really believes him when he says it. And in the end I guess it is unprovable. But I can put my hand on heart and say, having been there, and watched him at work, that Lee Child is fundamentally clueless when he starts writing. He really is. He has no idea what he is doing or where he is going. And the odd thing is he likes it that way. The question is: Why? I mean, most of us like to have some kind of idea where we are heading, roughly, a hypothesis at least to guide us, even if we are not sticking maps on the wall and suchlike. Whereas he, in contrast, embraces the feeling of just falling off a cliff into the void and relying on some kind of miraculous soft landing.


Of course he is not totally tabula rasa. Because he, and I, had a fair idea that the name Jack Reacher was going to come up somewhere in this, his 20th novel in the series....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

As a huge Jack Reacher fan, I couldn't resist this post. It is the ultimate 'meta-novel': Andy Martin got his own book out of watching a popular author write his latest tome.

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rodrick rajive lal's curator insight, December 5, 2015 9:20 AM

I too am a fan of Lee Child and I have read a lot of his Jack Reacher books. They are page turners and have enough suspense to drive the reader on! What surprises me however is to hear how a man with no plot can be such a successful writer. I guess it is about not being straight jacketed by a framework! The opportunities for creativity could be immense, although I would not suggest any aspiring writer to work without a plot. It is like going to teach a class without a lesson plan. This however not to discount some of the most successful teachers who manage very well without a written lesson plan. They however do have a mental plan of what they will do in class. Authors who develop the plot as they write however must have some idea about what they are going to write.

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The 31 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills

The 31 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Whether you're a published author or just getting started with blogging, it's not always easy to string words together in a way that makes sense, sounds good, and makes the reader feel something.
But every marketer should be able to write -- and, more importantly, every marketer can write. It's just a matter of finding the writing environment that works best for you, expanding your vocabulary, asking for feedback (and listening to it), and practicing.

Luckily, there are a slew of great tools you can use to help improve your writing. Check out the list below, and feel free to add the most helpful ones you use in the comment section....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

31 tools you can use to improve your writing. Several new to you I'm sure.

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Bibi Touré's curator insight, December 1, 2015 12:28 PM

TRÈS UTILE 

Penelope's curator insight, February 10, 12:57 PM

 

Thirty one different ways to improve our writing should give us at least one or two new options that we can pull out to get started, get moving, and get finished!

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/improving-writing-skills-tools

Luke Padilla's curator insight, April 4, 1:47 PM

31 tools you can use to improve your writing. Several new to you I'm sure.

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Learn from the Best: 6 Skills All Great Writers Have (and How to Learn Them)

Learn from the Best: 6 Skills All Great Writers Have (and How to Learn Them) | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

I have studied a wide variety of top notch writers (who are also great marketers) over the years and noticed that they all have certain skills in common.


In this article, I’ll break down these skills, showing you examples of them in action and ways to develop them.

By the end of this post, you should have a concrete game plan of how to become a better writer for the benefit of your business....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Neil Patel shares six tips to help you become a much better writer.

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How to Fall in Love With Writing Again

How to Fall in Love With Writing Again | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

After a while, you get sick and tired of writing. You just want to quit. Is it that notorious condition known as writer’s block? It could be, but in many cases it’s a little bit different.


There are a few things going on:You’re bored with what you’re writing about. Boredom kills affection.You’ve exhausted your creative energy. Creativity, like a muscle, has its limits. Push it too hard, and it caves in.You need something more challenging. Lack of challenge -- goals, vision, perspective -- leads to disillusionment.


You need some fresh experiences. Fresh experiences will give you a fresh perspective.It’s time to figure out how to get your brain back on task. How do you get past the drudgery and enjoy writing again? Let's talk through a few tips....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Suffering from writer's block? Feeling uninspired? Check out Neil Patel's five tips for moving past the drudgery to enjoy writing again.

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“Super Verbs” Add Power & Persuasion to Your Copy - Marketing Words Blog

“Super Verbs” Add Power & Persuasion to Your Copy - Marketing Words Blog | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Run or hustle? Eat or devour? Move or scurry? You can boost the power of your copy by amping up the quality of verbs you use.


Verbs show action, and the way you describe that motion can have a dramatic bearing on your readers. Why would you want to fill your copy with complacent words when you can conjure emotions and visual imagery in the hearts and minds of your readers?


Sure, “run” and “hustle” both indicate that someone is moving fast. But “run” is a dull, ordinary verb while “hustle” evokes definite images in your reader’s mind.Hadn’t really thought about it? You should!


You can choose commonplace verbs like “talk,” “make,” and “like,” or you can electrify your copy instead with verbs including “chatter,” “discover,” and “adore.”


Look at these examples to see what I mean....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Want to add power & persuasion to your copy? Move beyond ordinary verbs to Super Verbs!

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vicky stone's curator insight, April 1, 1:31 AM

Want to add power & persuasion to your copy? Move beyond ordinary verbs to Super Verbs!

Mike Allen's curator insight, April 2, 9:01 AM

Want to add power & persuasion to your copy? Move beyond ordinary verbs to Super Verbs!

rodrick rajive lal's curator insight, April 4, 4:30 AM

Want to add power & persuasion to your copy? Move beyond ordinary verbs to Super Verbs! Super verbs arepersuasive and more effective than their more passive brothers and sisters according to this article. You can see the difference between run and hustle, or even tell or inform.

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Gollum, Epenthesis, and Haplology

Gollum, Epenthesis, and Haplology | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

As I watched holiday re-runs of the Lord of the Rings movies, I wondered if there might be a term for the way Gollum adds syllables to words.


Note: Gollum is a fictional character in The Hobbit and its sequels by J. R. R. Tolkien. In Peter Jackson’s movies, Gollum is played brilliantly by Andy Serkis.


Gollum frequently adds a sound or syllable to words, especially plurals. For example:


Sneaky little hobbitses....