Five Writing Hacks:
Hooking your reader’s attention is no easy feat. Even successful, well-known writers use writing hacks to make sure their audience starts and continues reading all of their text. We’ll share five writers hacks that will make your writing irresistible to readers.
1) Organize Your Writing Using Headings and Lists
If readers happen upon your writing and see sentence after sentence with no breaks in between, they might feel intimidated by the length and avoid reading it altogether. But here’s an easy writing hack: organize your text using headings and lists.
Texts with headings, subheadings, and lists appear less overwhelming and more reader-friendly. Using this writing hack appeals to both types of readers: those that read the writing entirely and those that merely skim it.
2) Implement the Rule of Three
The rule of three is a straightforward and effective writing hack that takes advantage of our brain’s ability to recognize patterns. Because three is the smallest pattern humans can remember, using this hack in your writing makes it memorable. Consider these famous quotes that use the rule of three:
- “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
- “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
- “Friends, Roman, countrymen, lend me your ears…”
Applying the rule of three is simple, and there are many ways to implement it into your writing. A few methods include: breaking up your writing into three sections (if possible), incorporating three main characters, or using it on a per-sentence basis.
Another example of the rule of three in action is in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Goldilocks:
- Eats their porridge (that were too hot, too cold, and just right)
- Attempts to sit on their chairs (that were big, bigger, and just right)
- Tries to sleep on their beds (that were too hard, too soft, and just right)
3) Avoid Wordiness
Effective writing is direct and concise. Another writing hack you can apply to make sure your readers stay hooked is to avoid wordiness. This means omitting wordy phrases, eliminating redundancies, and steering clear of unnecessary adjectives. A sentence that includes wordiness might end up distracting your reader instead of helping them focus on your text:
- In order to get married at the beautiful beach and have the lovely wedding Heather has always dreamed of, they needed to apply for a pesky yet necessary permit.
- To get married at the beach and have the wedding Heather has always dreamed of, they need to apply for a permit.
It’s important to note that these hacks (especially this one) may not work for every writer. Novelists, for example, may purposely want a long sentence to create a desired effect.
4) Use Synonyms
Sometimes a particular word fits into your writing, but there are alternatives that better depict the message you want to convey. That’s why, when writing, you should always look up and use synonyms. For example, tasty and scrumptious have similar definitions, but if you want to describe a meal as extraordinarily flavorful, you might want to use the latter.
- The mashed potatoes and the grilled chicken breast were tasty.
- The mashed potatoes and the grilled chicken breast were scrumptious.
Bonus Writing Hack
Use LanguageTool’s synonym feature to look for alternative words quickly. All you have to do is double-click on a word to view possible synonyms. This intuitive and easy-to-use writing assistant can also check your spelling and grammar, and offer formatting suggestions to help ensure your writing is flawless.
5) Step Away and Then Rewrite
Ernest Hemingway once said, “the only kind of writing is rewriting.” Many other renowned writers agree—to write is to rewrite. This means that once you’re done (or think you’re done) with your writing, you must read it and rewrite the majority of it.
An effective writing hack is to step away from your writing for a bit before you start the rewriting process. The length of the break is up to you. You can either take a walk or even have a good night’s sleep before you go back to edit and rewrite it. A “fresh set of eyes” can spot errors you may miss if you decide to rewrite right away.
You may be tired of hearing this cliché, but it’s stood the test of time because it rings true: “Practice makes perfect.” There’s no writing hack more effective than writing often. But when you are writing, apply the five hacks above, and you’ll notice how your writing starts to captivate your readers. So start to improve your writing with these five writer’s hacks.