The Secret To Next-Level Writing


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When people come to me for writing advice, most think that they need help writing better sentences.

But, in my experience, most people actually know how to compile decent sentences.
Where they struggle is in *connecting* sentences in a way that keeps readers engaged.

Despite good ideas and strong points, their writing suffers because they fail to clearly *link* concepts.

To overcome this problem...
I recommend using three techniques:

1. Use "pointer" words
2. End sentences emphatically
3. Enlist contrast to crystallize your points

Employing these three techniques will force you to sharpen your thinking.

Most importantly, it'll keep your readers hooked.

Use "Pointer" Words and Connectors

Pointer words are words like
This, that, these, those, and the

Connectors are words that signal transitions like
Also, similarly, further, therefore, and yet
Most paragraphs you write should contain a transitional pointer word or connector to bridge from one idea to the next.

Great writers like James Clear use these words every chance they get.

Take a look at how the connector "similarly" bridges two paragraphs in Atomic Habits...

End Sentences Emphatically

Good writing compels the reader to keep reading.

That’s why people say “I couldn’t put the book down” or “it was a real page-turner.”

A good way to keep your reader’s attention is to end sentences emphatically.
Look at how James Clear always ends sentences with the punchiest, most important information.

Do This = How Clear actually wrote the sentence
Not This = Sentences rewritten so they, at the end, fizzle

Use Contrast to Crystallize Your Points

Most of writing is actually a form of argument.

You are building your case for whatever point you're trying to make.
To do that well, you need to be clear about your key points and what points support them.

The best way to do that is to use "signaling" words that provide contrast to a previous idea.

Contrast words are words like
But, unfortunately, by contrast, and on the other hand
Once again, James Clear shows us the way.

Notice how the highlighted signaling words let you "see around the corner" to understand where he's going with his argument.

1. Most people construct strong individual sentences
2. But they struggle to *connect* sentences together
3. The best way to link ideas are to use "pointer" words, end sentences emphatically, and enlist contrast "signaling" words
That's all friends!

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