Just Slightly Contrarian: This Ain't Literature You're Writing
But first of all, forget everything you ever learned about being grammatically correct. Your English 101 instructor didn’t realize you were going to be a marketing writer.
Listen to the way people talk. Listen to the way you talk. When you catch your breath, that’s a comma. When you pause, that’s a period. When you gesture with your hands, that’s an exclamation mark. When you point your finger, that’s the beginning of a new paragraph with a connecting action word.
What I try to do is write the way I talk, and then clean it up so the verbs sorta agree, most of the time. I try to be grammatically correct. But I’m into the flow, not creating literature.
Run-on sentences always have been a characteristic of successful copy. Don’t be afraid to go on and on without a period. Just use plenty of commas. Force the reader to breathe on your terms. This means that if you have a big or technical word, quickly bring the sentence to an end, because a long sentence with several technical words will choke the reader.
Don’t use a semicolon; that confuses people. They don’t know what to do with it. Is a semicolon a comma or a period?
Use short paragraphs, mostly. Use some long paragraphs. Use a variety. Don’t get stuck in a deadly routine. Use underlining. Use bold type. Use sentences that begin with action verbs.
And be careful with periods, because a period brings a thought to an end, and that’s what you want to avoid sometimes in your quest to keep the readers moving on and on and on. That’s why at the end of a paragraph, of course, you traditionally use a period. But then, as I mentioned, you begin the next paragraph with a word connector. Also, you can end a paragraph this way …