wr0. Course introduction
wr1. Writing fundamentals
wr1-0. Introduction :29
wr1-1. Chose simple words :54
wr1-2. More verbs less adjectives :33
wr1-3. Use the present tense 1:05
wr1-4. Compound your sentences :25
wr1-5. Keep paragraphs short:29
wr1-6. Use the past tense 1:13
wr1-7. Review :56
wr2. Planning your message
wr2-0. Introduction: 1:06
wr2-1. Start with the ending: :36
wr2-2. Now start your beginning :19
wr2-3. Adjusting the middle 1:01
wr2-4. Captions add picture value 1:15
wr2-5. Headlines attract readers :44
wr2-6. Review 1:07
wr3. Writing with purpose
wr3-0. Introduction :37
wr3-1. Feature you 1:29
wr3-2. A short video script :47
wr3-3. Press release 1:26
wr3-4. Business cover letter 1:33
wr3-5. Instruction manual 1:18
wr3-6. Review :33
wr4. No this
wr4-0. Introduction 1:12
wr4-1. No alphabet soup 1:11
wr4-2. No abbreviations :45
wr4-3. No contractions :46
wr4-4. No slang and no swearing 2:19
wr4-5. No misspelling :56
wr4-6. Never misspell names :50
wr4-7. Review :38
wr1-3. Use the present tense
The present tense creates the impression to readers that they are there with the action.
What is happening now is more exciting than what happened yesterday.
Don't worry if your story happened in the past. You are telling that story now. And the reader is listening now.
So benefit from this psychological trick. Think about your childhood. A story was exciting because it was live. The big bad wolf really might be hiding waiting to get you. And you were really scared.
The present has a sense of urgency. Your body tenses up. You anxiously wonder, what is going to happen next?
So, write in the present because it creates more drama. And that is what makes a good story.
This lesson example is from the feature story "The Man Who Invented Las Vegas"
Written by Harris Gaffin
It is breakfast time in Las Vegas, Nevada, population 1,000. A handsome, well-dressed man crosses the dining room of the Flamingo Hotel, the town's newest and grandest gambling palace, heading for the outdoor pool.
"He owns the place," a father whispers to his son over scrambled eggs and coffee. "And he's kind of a dangerous guy."
He is right. The year is 1946 and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is, indeed, a highly dangerous man - though usually only to other gangsters.
wr1-3. Write two sentences in the present about things that happened in the past.