[Black Aces] Writing Tips
If you want to contribute to this section with some quick thoughts, then by all means please do. However, if you are interested in posting a full-blown column with the hopes of perhaps getting the odd one up on the front page and then eventually parlaying that into a writing gig, I thought I would provide some writing tips. It will help you get to the next level in term of your writing skills.
1) The first thing that jumps out at me are the numbers. If a number is below 10, then you write it out in full. One, two, ..., nine, 10, 11. Also first, second, ..., ninth, 10th, 11th.
2) Overusing "I" and "me". You can use those terms, but try not to. Take the focus off of you, if possible.
3) Hyphenation. If two words are used to describe something (adjectives) and one word is related to the next, then hyphenate it. The 20 year old Tommy Smith (wrong). The 20-year-old Tommy Smith (correct).
4) plus/minus: use plus-10 and minus-10 instead of +10 and -10
5) Length: 300 words will not get it to the front page. I'd need at least 550.
6) Stating the obvious - re-read your column. Did you say something in the second paragraph and third sentence that has already been said or is blatantly obvious? You may want to remove it.
7) Related to 1) - never begin a sentence with a number and if you absolutely must, then spell it out every time, even if it is above nine. 10 times out of 10, this sentence looks bush. Ten times out of 10, this sentence looks professional.
I'll dig up some guidelines that I have from one of the magazines that I write for and post it here if you really want to go in-depth with getting this right.