I'm always on the lookout for examples of great content, and I found one in this morning paging through a book by my friend, Philip Dodd. The Reverend Guppy's Aquarium is full of fantastic writing, but this passage, in particular, drew me in:


There's so much to love here:

  1. The voice: Even if you don't know Phil, you can tell a lot about him from the interplay between sentence patterns and word choice. Certainly sounds like a smart and funny guy you'd like to have a pint with, and that is exactly who he happens to be. Learn more about voice.
  2. The word choice: And take a look at the words he uses. This is a perfect example of descriptive language. Even if you're writing about insurance or taxes, you can make your writing clearer by making it more descriptive. Maybe you can't have as much fun as Phil is clearly having, but you can have more fun if you invest a little time playing with words. Learn more about word choice.
  3. The precision: Sometimes we think that making writing more descriptive means adding to the volume with lots of adjectives and adverbs. But truly descriptive writing is often quite concise. Notice how tight Phil's writing is as he describes the Hell out of a saxophone. Learn more about concision.

This week, commit to spending 15 extra minutes on making one memo, article, email--whatever!--more descriptive. And if you need help with that, here are some strategies and tips to try: