Writing Practice : 11 essential heuristics to power up your writing. | Damien Walter | Skillshare

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Writing Practice : 11 essential heuristics to power up your writing.

teacher avatar Damien Walter, Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (1h 59m)
    • 1. Writing Practice - Introduction

    • 2. Omit Needless Words 1 of 3

    • 3. Omit Needless Words 2 of 3

    • 4. Omit Needless Words 3 of 3

    • 5. Small Strong Words 1 of 4

    • 6. Small Strong Words 2 of 4

    • 7. Small Strong Words 3 of 4

    • 8. Small Strong Words 4 of 4

    • 9. Power of Pronouns 1 of 3

    • 10. Power of Pronouns 2 of 3

    • 11. Power of Pronouns 3 of 3

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About This Class

Did you ever stay up until dawn reading a great book? Has your worldview ever been rocked by a powerful essay? Were you ever left breathless by the words of a great novelist, playwright or poet?

Have you ever wanted to tell your story to the world but just... could...not...find...the words?!

In over a decade as a writing teacher, Damien Walter has helped thousands of students find their voice.

Now he shares a new course to develop the foundational skills to build a powerful writing practice.

What separates a good writer...from a great writer?

Copywriter. Journalist. Professional blogger. Content creator. Or just plain "Writer".

Whatever the role, great writing is one of the most in demand and highest rewarded skills in the new freelance economy.

But delivering great, creative writing, on demand and to deadline, will test even a great writer to the limits.

The writers who make it don't just have great skills. They have learned the most powerful heuristics.

"Heuristic; any approach to problem solving that employs a practical method, not guaranteed to be perfect, but good enough to reach an immediate goal."

Heuristics are mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision.

After thousands of hours watching students struggle with complex, made-up "rules of writing", Damien came up with a better way.

By learning and practicing these 11 essential heuristics, anyone can power-up their writing. From ambitious young writers to seasoned pros, practicing the essentials will raise you to the next level.

Each heuristic is introduced in a simple talk with multiple examples. But the real work happens away from the screen. Practical exercises for you to complete in your own time teach and reinforce the 11 heuristics.

The more you practice writing, the more powerful your writing practice becomes.

Meet Your Teacher

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Damien Walter

Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.


Damien Walter ( BA / MA / PGCHE / HEA) teaches good writers how to be great. His research and critical writing have been published in The Guardian, Wired, BBC, The Independent, Aeon and with Oxford University Press. He is a former director of creative writing at the University of Leicester, a member of the Higher Education Academy, and a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop taught by Neil Gaiman. He consults widely for businesses in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing to help them tell great stories.


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1. Writing Practice - Introduction: Hello. Good afternoon. And welcome to this rather lovely sunlit apartment in Paris. My name is Damien. Walter. On those of you who have followed my videos or my courses online will know that I'm a very lucky person. I work as a professional writer on that means that I get to travel around with my laptop on , sit in cafes on type on, do all of my work on. In turn, That frees me to travel around from one location to another. And that means that when I teach these courses, I get for called them in a variety of rather wonderful locations. And at the moment, I'm here in Paris for the summer working on a book, Yes, working on a book. But I'm taking a little bit of time out from the book working to introduce my new course, which I'm very excited about. It's cold writing practice. 11. Essential humorist. ICS. Very important word for the course. 11 essential heuristics. Toe power up your writing. What is this course about? Well, I've been teaching creative writing for somewhere between 15 and 20 years, depending on how you count it on. Over that time, I have struggled with one really big problem on. That's how to give people rarely core skills the foundational essential skills that you need for any kind of writing, whether it's professional, cooperating or journalism or novel writing or short stories or screenplays, whatever it is that you're writing the foundational skills that make your powerful writer a basically the same, and teaching those skills is really difficult. I continue spelling and grammar, but you won't necessarily be a powerful writer. I can give you hints and tips. They won't necessarily really make you stronger as a writer. So over all these years of teaching, I started off in little libraries, working with people. Very often. You had quite difficult learning difficulties Over the years. I kind of graduated myself to teaching at university and college Level is director of creative writing at the University of Leicester in their adult learners department. I really, really loves doing that work, and I spent that time studying and researching this question of how to power people up, how to empower you as a writer and how to give you these basic foundational skills that you're going to need forever kind of writing. You want to pursue in this course is the answer to this question. It's called writing practice for a reason, because you're going to need to practice If you just watch this course and we very interesting. You'll get to watch me talk, but you won't necessarily gets stronger as a writer because what we're doing through this course is learning and to get the learning in place. That's gonna make you a stronger writer. We have to practice. We have to practice or writing. We have to complete these writing practices on for each one of the practices that I'm going to introduce you to. You might need to practice 4 12 hours. It might be even longer than that might be a bit less, but you are gonna need to sit down and repeat the writing practices that I give you because that's how we're going to learn. Have you seen The Karate Kid, the famous 19 eighties movie? They rebooted it for YouTube recently, which is a very instating show. Have you seen the Karate Kid? I imagine you have and you remember paint the fence and young Ralph Macho is the Karachi kitties is told by Pat Morita, his mentor to to paint the fence, and he has to go around the fence on both sides. It takes in days just during this moving. His teacher is very specific. You've got to do this move. Okay, you've got to do it like this. And he does that in any store. After painting the fence, wax on, wax off, wax on, wax up. He has the wax along the cars in his teachers lot. So is like thes moves on. Then he loses, Temporary says to his teacher, You're not teaching me karate. I'm just doing all of your cleaning for you, man on. Then his teacher kicks and punches at him on the Karate Kid realizes that he's learned these moves, and he knows them automatically because he's practiced them. Cem practiced them so much that they're embedded in his unconscious. And this is how we rarely learn the foundations of any skill bit karate or writing. That's what we're trying to do with this course. We're trying to make you a ninja of writing and martial arts master off type history. But to do that, you're gonna have to practice. So as fun as it may be listening to me the rial course you'll be doing away from the video screen in the writing practice that you're pursuing. Why why do you have to learn wax on wax off? Why do you have to complete the writing practices that I'm going to be a signing for you? And this is about that word in the title heuristics. What is a heuristic and heuristic is a bit like a rule. It's not quite the same as a rule, but it's a bit like a rule that if you're trying to do something, if you're trying to karate, if you try and do writing or anything, the way that we're as humans learn to do things is via heuristics an example. When you're a kid, you were taught to cross the road. Or at least I hope you were, because otherwise you probably believe being run over by now. But it's more likely that you were taught to stop looking lesson. Okay, when you get your would you stop? You don't just carry on walking across whatever you may think about the road. Whether it's clear on what you stop, you look, you use your eyes to look left and right, A new lesson. Stop, Look and listen. Listen for traffic. Now, if you learn these, you've learned good heuristics for crossing the road. Stop. Look. Listen on. You're much less likely to be hit by a car. You could, of course, be talked completely. Terrible heuristics, a really bad parent might teach their child as when you see a road just run as fast as you can across it run fast across the road And now you've been given a really bad juristic on the battery stick is making it really impossible for you to cross the road safely. And you're probably going to get hit by a cast, their good heuristics on their a bad heuristics. Now, over many years of studying the writers that I'm teaching, the revelation that I had was this. People who find writing difficult are not stupid. People who find writing difficult are not uneducated people who find writing difficult and not lacking in talent for writing. None of this is true. They're almost every human life has the same essential capacity to write. I've written professionally for most of my life, but I have no particular innate talent as a writer. I've become good As a writer, I can demonstrate that by the fact that I get paid really well to write lots of things. I guess that's quite good evidence. But it's it's nothing innate in me if my writing practice on that, I've learned over time really good heuristics for writing. But unfortunately, much of what we talked about writing at schools, much of what we learn about it in the popular media, for instance, teaches, is really bad. Heuristics are writing heuristics that hang us up that slow us down, make writing more difficult than it should be. So, over my years of teaching, I've sat down and I've attempted to understand with myself was the first example and then working with students to test out what I've learned to develop really good heuristics for writing that I can teach the students for a simple, direct set off practices. In this course, I'm gonna give you writing practices that will teach you 11 essential heuristics, toe para pure writing. It's that simple. It's that direct. It's gonna take you a lot of work to learn them, but if you do, I guarantee you you will be a much more powerful writer than when you began. In fact, I guarantee you that you will be able to write the projects that you want to develop. If you feel at the end of the course that that isn't true, you can come back. I'll give you your money back. I can't say very not really, because I'm absolutely certain that it will. I'm whatever kind of writing is that you want to do, Whether it's novel writing, screenwriting, copyrighting journalism, anything. This course will help you developing that direction. This is the introduction. There will be 11 short talks. Each talk will be accompanied by a writing practice, and you them will have to take the time to practice in your own life in your own situation . To put the time in a new will, master the practices and you'll develop the 11 essential heuristics. You can follow this course primarily via my patron account. Just go along, sign up any level of patron. You can follow the course and practise the exercises. You can also on page on, get feedback from me about what you're doing in the exercises. So I recommend that as a way to follow the course you will also be up to follow it on you to me on skill share on each talk and exercise will update to those platforms far, far in the distant future. It may be offered entirely for free on YouTube. So please subscribe to my YouTube channel as well where I try to give as many writing teachings and talk about a few other subjects as well as I possibly can. I also come along and follow me on Twitter Instagram Where else you fancy? I'm always chatting about various things and you can ask me questions on there. Okay, thank you very much for giving it. Time to tune into this introduction will be followed by the first of our writing practices To learn the first heuristic to power up your writing again. Thank you for your time. I'm really looking forward to working with you on this course. I put a lot of time and fought into these writing. Pratt says I am excited to see how these writing heuristics help you on impel you as a writer. Thank you very much. Let's meet again very soon. 2. Omit Needless Words 1 of 3: Okay, then the sun is shining. And in my nice little apartment in Paris, I have some busy French water because there's going to be quite a lot of talking being done today. At the cameras are rolling. The sound is recording, which can only mean it's time for writing practice. 11 heuristics to power up your writing today we're looking at writing practice number one. Why, you might ask, Are you holding a knife? Well, I'm holding a knife because whilst it's unusual to think about it this way, a knife is a very good example. Off a good machine, a well designed machine or tool. This is a pretty standard, like a kitchen knife. Has a handle blade. A very sharp blade. A nice cover to cover up the blade on. Everything about this little machine or tool is very, very clear. You know what? You're going to do it. It's not just cause you've been trained to use a knife, but because the scenes you pick it up. It's kind of a parent what this knife is going to be doing. I'm going to try not to cut myself whilst waving it around, so I'm gonna put it back in its little case here. But imagine if you will, that this knife just had an extra handle sticking off in this direction or had two blades or 10 blades or it had don't use written on the side of it. Any number of things could go wrong with the design of this knife to make it much more difficult to use or indeed imagine it was anything like this remote control. So I quite conveniently have in my apartment but also happens to be famously one of the worst designed machines ever. We've all had the experience of glancing a remote controlled and wondering what the hell to do with it. Well, perhaps watching our parent's or grandparent's do that, but you can't blame them because it's far too complicated. It has far too many buttons. It's not clear what these buttons do. You kind of know that you point it at something and press the buttons. But what one of these ones down here, Why does it have a number pad? What are these colors for? Its completely not clear because it has far too much information going on. Ah, when we are writing, we face a very similar challenge to the designers of these machines here because whilst we don't commonly think about it this way, every piece of writing that we create is little machine or tool on were writing it to convey some information via this machine to the people who read it. And so, as a writer, were kind of a word designer, a word engineer. And to do our word designing or engineering effectively. There's a very simple principle that we have to obey, which is conveyed in the little phrase, which is a good example of obeying it. Omit needless words in the way that the knife, um, it's needless elements or parts in the way that the remote control does not. A good or bad piece of writing often turns on whether it succeeds or omitting needless words are not welcome back to writing practice. We're into the first of our 11 practices of the 11 powerful heuristics to build up on Empower your writing. As we have discussed throughout the course, we're introducing a series of talks here. Well, I will be talking about the different writing practices, but most of the course will be happening away from these videos as you practice the principles and learn the heuristics or rules of writing, that the principles are trying to impart. So the really important part of the course is the practice, hence writing practice for which we hope to make you a samurai off sentences. 3. Omit Needless Words 2 of 3: Okay, Where does this idea off omit needless words come from? I've selected it as the first off are writing practices because it is probably the most famous maxim in a lot of the craft off writing teaching. It comes from the very famous book The Elements Off Style, written by Strunk and White. Now there's a bit of a background to the elements of style in that one of the writers Waas , a university writing teacher about the turn of the century. On the other was a student who later on collected together a lot of that teachers writings and also added something to them. And that's where the elements off style by Strunk and White comes from, and it's become one of the most famous guides to writing. It is this, Weeks recommended reads. So once you finish the talk, if you can pick up the elements of style by Strunk and White, there will be a recommended read with each one of the talks on practices that are assigned . You don't have to read them all, but, you know, obviously there's a lot more to learn. That's true of absolutely anything on these, the sources that I am drawing or writing practices from, and I myself have learned these heuristics from Let's have a think about what Strunk and White said, and the idea off omitting needless words from your writing. This is what Strunk and White had to say on omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph, no unnecessary sentences for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines on the machine, no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he or she avoid all detail and treat his or her subjects only in outline, but that every word tell I've somewhat adapted. Stunkel might there because they had that old stylistic ticker referring to everybody. Is he when we were trying? Vary that in modern forms of writing. But let's have a think about what they've said. Vigorous writing, while vigorous, you know, it doesn't have to be vigorous. It might just be clear, but they're using that word vigorous to give a certain idea about powerful writing. We might say a sentence should contain no unnecessary words. But as they emphasize later, that doesn't mean that it should only contain a few words as we're going to see, you might have a lot of words in the sentence. The question is, are they necessary in the way that every lying in a drawing is necessary? A drawing might have a lot of lines, but you hope that they will play a part. A machine like a 747 jumbo jet might have a lot of parts, but they're alive there to play a part, even if it is just backing up another part in case it brakes a kind of redundancy. And indeed, we sometimes think about redundancies in writing as well. So this requires not that the writer make away his sentences short. This is one of the mistakes that's often perpetuated through writing, teaching short sentences. Short sentences aren't necessarily clearer. In fact, if you only have a short sentences on a page, it's likely that you are not being as clear as you could be. So this requires not that the right to make all these sentences short all that he avoid all detail. Of course, you need the correct depth of detail in any piece of writing, but that detail has to serve on end on what is the end, According to Strunk and white arrests in this final word of the paragraph. Very interesting to note that they keep the most powerful word in the paragraph until very last, which is a good piece of writing. And that is indeed one of the writing practices that we will be getting to a part of it, but that every word tell every word tells. And I think if you were to go back and look at this little piece of writing by Strunk and White, you would find every word within this paragraph does indeed tell. We're gonna think more about this idea off every word, telling, because I think it's one off the clearest ways to think about the idea off, omitting needless words. When we look at a piece of writing on, we look individually at the words and the relationship of the words as they build sentences on the relationship of the sentences that they build. Paragraph do one of these elements does every word tell. Does every sentence tell there's every paragraph tell. To do that, we're gonna look at some examples where this works some ways, it could be more fun to look at the examples that don't work. But let's take a look here. An example in copyrighting. I've been a professional copywriter for the whole of my adult life, actually did my first copy writing job when I was about 15 and got paid for it a 50 quid at the time. 50 of Her Majesty's pounds, which was a lot of money to me when I was 15 on. That's one of the things that lead me into writing beyond that, so I'd be in a copywriter. I was a copywriter for Lot my twenties. I still do copyrighting now. I've always included it as part my professional writing practice and in copyrighting omitting needless words is really important. Hugely important, Having example here from Apple makers of the iPhone, famous for their design, not famous for their copyrighting, but they're copyrighting is immaculate. Always. Let's have a look at this for the iPhone X and think as I read through this about the words that have bean omitted iPhone 10. Brilliant in every way a little screen design, longest battery life ever in an iPhone. Fastest performance water and splash resistant studio quality photos on four K video more secure with face i d. The new iPhone 10 are. It's a brilliant upgrade, so this is a great piece of copyrighting. It's extremely clear when it's extremely brief. It's example of brevity, the kind of brevity that great copyrighting nearly always demands. Because when you're working on advertisements, you know the number of words the link for time, the amount of attention you can get from people looking at the advertisements is very small so that these have to communicate with great gravity and this piece of writing for the iPhone 10. I keep calling it the iPhone X. Maybe that's not a great piece of copyrighting apple, because I always say iPhone X. We can debate that, but it's brilliant in every way. Very short sentences, very clear word. Choice is brilliant on Brilliant has many meanings in relation to the iPhone Earl screen design. Full stop, longest battery life ever in an iPhone Full stop, fastest performance. Full stop. So here we are, working with short sentences, and it works really well. If you added in too many words here, you would start to lose the meaning so if we replaced water and splash resistant with can be dunked in the toilet but still survive. I mean, everything is wrong with that, but it's fellow too many words. The voice isn't consistent with the rest of writing Aina, but this is the kind of thing you find in bad copyrighting. It's altered in these rather ineffective ways, So this is a great sample and copyrighting. Let's look at another place. We're a different outcome from omitting. Needless words can be found. That's clarity in news reporting. It's essential when reporting news that it's very clear that you achieve clarity in what happened so famously news reporting just very particular kind off journalism. There's other kinds of journalism, like working as a columnist, for instance, on Editorial writer, where clarity of this kind is not so important. There's other rains that are important but for reporting is absolute clarity. So let's have a read of this story from the BBC news website. The BBC is the gold standard of clear reporting on off writing that achieves charity. Amazon fires our house is burning. Macron warns ahead off G seven French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an international crisis that needs to top the agenda of this weekend's G seven summit. Our house is burning, he tweeted. Brazil's president, J. Bullis Honor, responded by accusing Mr Macron of using the issue for political gain. He said calls to discuss the fires at the G seven summit in beer. It's which Brazil is not participating in evoked a missed place. Colonialist mindset. The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. It produces 1/5 of the world's oxygen on about 20% of its fresh water, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF. It is also home to about three million species of plants and animals on one million indigenous people. This is a very clear news story about on incredibly complex topic. Think about what's being covered in here is actually the best to think about it from the end. So there's a huge problem off climate change, global warming. We're not gonna have a debate here about whether that's really absolutely is comment somewhere else. If you want to argue about that on, then feeding into this is destroyed. The Amazon rain voiced has a a seasonably very large number of fires. This is very bad news, we learned. Why am we hear comments from two political leaders? You can tell how clear this is because my description of it, which was itself quite short, is less clear. This is about the clearest way you could present this information, and it's all based in omitting needless words. Every word here tells they build up to make sentences. Every sentence tells on every paragraph tells paragraphs, a short sentences. A short word choice is immaculate. Let's look now at one sample, which works in a different way to achieve a slightly different result, which is complexity because we don't always want short sentences. We don't always want to be brief. We don't even necessarily always want to be clear, although is usually a good girl. Sometimes what we need to do is achieve complexity, not complicated nous. If something is complicated, it's probably violated the rule to omit Leela's words. But we might still want something to be complex on. This is a wonderful piece of writing by David Foster Wallace from his essay Tense presence democracy, English on the wars, over usage. And, as I read, this note has long sentences, has complex sentences. It uses what you might say a far more words than is strictly necessary to convey the meaning. But we'll think about why, then necessary in other ways. David Foster Wallace's writing here Did you know that probing the seamy underbelly of us Lekhak, Did you know that probing the seamy underbelly of us let damn new David Foster Wallace did you know that probing the seamy underbelly off us lexicography reveals ideological strife on controversy and intrigue and nastiness on did further on a nearly hanging Chad scale, for instance, did you know that some modern dictionaries are notoriously liberal on others notoriously conservative? On that certain conservative dictionaries were actually conceived and designed as corrective responses to the corruption on permissiveness of certain liberal dictionaries. That the Onley garchik device of having a special distinguished usage panel of outstanding professional speakers and writers is an attempted compromise between the forces of egalitarianism on traditionalism in English. But the most linguistic liberals dismiss the usage panel as mere sham population. Did you know that US lexicography even had a seamy underbelly, so it's very complex is very amusing, and part of the complexity is there to serve the amusing this. But let's have a look. There's one brilliant word in here. Ali GARCHIK It's It's overly complex. It's far. Rarer is a word than you need. T convey the strict meaning hamper. It conveys layers of meaning. And this is why you want complexity. Because when David Foster Wallace writes, did you know that the oligarchic device of having a special, distinguished uses panel? So the reason for this complexities convey all these layers of meaning. So when David Foster Wallace says the oligarchic device, he's conveying that there is this device of having a distinguished you shoes panel. But other liberal people might say it's on. The garchik on the oligarchic itself has many layers because that's like an oligarchy, and it plays a certain kind of corrupt power that's being wielded by this device. All of this coming out of the choice of a single word. So when we say omit needless words, what we also imply is include very necessary words on oligarchic care is tremendously necessary, as is earlier on in the in the first sentence. You know, us Lexicography reveals ideological strife, Onda controversy and intrigue and nastiness, and further, too many ends there in a strictly grammatical sense. But the ends emphasize they, they emphasize, in some sense, the absurdity of all of the things that come forth. When you look at the seamy underbelly off us. Lexicography, which isn't 12 in itself, is too complicated a word, except we want to think of it as lexicography rather than word usage, for instance, because Lexicography again Cannon conveys layers off meaning. I highly recommend the nonfiction writing off David Foster Wallace and the fiction writing , but I actually think he was a genius, a pure genius. At nonfiction, he wrote some of the best essays. His essay on You said she's essay on tennis, playing a number of other of his essays Fantastic, fantastic creative, non fiction, writing on a brilliant example off complexity by omitting needless words 4. Omit Needless Words 3 of 3: Okay, then we've looked at the good examples. Now I need to gather a little bit of strength with Cem fizzy French water to look at a less good and not good on actively bad sample off writing that doesn't just ignore the rule to a minutely needless words it it deliberately violates it. It violates the rule. It violently tears it apart. And not just this rule, but a lot off the rules of writing. And this is a very famous piece of bad writing called the I Off Are Gone by Jin piece. I think the name is pronounced. This is a famously awful example off fantasy writing on it's often held up even by fantasy writers, where I'm gonna be very frank. There is some not very good writing on, even by fantasy writers as an example of off what not to do on every level on because it's so terrible, we may use it as an example a few times across theologian writing practices Let's have a little read and, as I read, have a think about in relation to the practice off. Omit needless words the eye of Are Gone by Jim Piece, The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climbs of the Ballon land, which dominates large portions of the nor goalie in Empire Age. Worn hoof prints, smothered by the sifting sands of time, shone dully against the dust splattered crust of Earth. The tireless sun cast its parting ways of incandescence from overhead Half way through its daily revolution, small rodents scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments of their dismal lives. Dust sprayed over three heaving mounts in blinding clouds while they bore the burdens and cargoes of their struggling overseers. But bad to embrace your creators in a stagey and haunts of hell. Barbarian gasped the first soldier only up Europe case, the fleeting steed of death wretch returned Griner, a sweeping blade of flashing steel riveted from the massive barbarians hide enamel sheared on his rippling right arm, thrust forth, sending a steel sharp blade to the health into the soldiers vital organs. The disembowel mercenary crumpled from his Sabol and sank to the cloud and sank to the clouded, sworn, sprinkling the parched dust with crimson droplets off escaping life fluid. I'm going to stop there. There is, uh, rather more is only a short kind of a short novelette on Novella three I of all gone. There's a little bit more in this sample hair, but clearly Jim Feiss never heard or was deliberately ignoring or didn't understand the rule or the writing practice to omit needless words. One thing that we're not going to do when looking at these writing practices is list lots of lots of rules for when you may need to or not omit needless words because that kind of defeats the heuristics that we want to learn by learning heuristics. We learn things that work together almost unconsciously, to make his good writers by learning rules specific rules. For when you do or don't need to include words, we make something very complicated that actually doesn't make your better writer. It just layers, loads and loads of rules on you, most of which were invented kind of. After the fact on the actual usage, it language was developed, so I could tell you loads of rules like not using too many adverbs. But let's stick to let's stick to omitting needless words. So there is so much wrong with the eye of are gone that it is literally impossible to list . It violates a law 11 practices that we will be covering in this course without a doubt. But in terms off omitting needless words. Let's look at this and have a think about a few that we could cut out. The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust wrecked climbs of the barren land. So therefore, many too many descriptive words in the writing here, the weather beaten trail. Let's say we keep that wound ahead into the dust track climbs off the barren land. Let's just remove dust racked Klein's justice. An example. Weather beating trail around the head into the barren land. Full stop. Now Tim is actually including a completely of topic. He started off talking descriptively, and then he's described portions of nor goalie in ever, So we can also renews portions of the Nor Golden empire. We just don't eat no desk. It's far too much information the weather beats and trail wound ahead into the ballon land . Now Waas, far from being a perfect sentence simply by admitting meaningless words, we've made this a better sentence. Let's continue with the eye of Are gone by Jim Bites age warn Hoof prints smothered by the sifting sands of time Sean dully against the dust splattered crust. Again farty age one hoof prints were smothered by the sifting sands of time. Better still, not great, but better tireless son. How about just this son know? How about guess the sun Rothe, Tyler something because is some tireless? Is that really a good way to describe it? I don't think so. Sun cast. It's parching rays of incandescence from overhead, the sun cast rays of incandescence. The spelling mistakes in this are from the original text, just to just to clarify that the sun cast rays of incandescence from overhead. I'm gonna let you keep from overhead Kim, but only because party much effort to keep correcting you. Small rodents scampered about, occupy. We just don't know that a toll this'll entire sentence is gone. Gone gin car habit gone, dust sprayed over three heaving mounts. So let's instead at least put the subject of a sentence of beginning free moving males. Anything mounts free using mounts. Did you dust more burdensome cargoes? Three moving mountains shrouded by dust for But let's replace struggling burdensome overseers. Dear God, that was painful. Dear Crumb by Crumb that was painful. The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the barren land age one. Hoof prints were smothered by the shifting sands. The sun cast rays of incandescents from overhead. Three heaving mounts clouded by dust bore their overseers for their burdensome overseers. So, still not good. Definitely not great? No, in good, not even not bad. But better. By admitting needless words than theory, Journal opening paragraph off the eye of are gone. I could continue to work through the whole of this section of the eye of are gone. Removing words to work on the first writing practice omit needless words, however, that would be boring for you on. It wouldn't help you at work that you need to do. You, however, are going to work for the rest of this section of the eyeing of our God and a number of other sections off writing that you will find wherever you are watching this first talk in the course that will be accompanied with a link to the document that will give you the practice itself, where you will find samples of writing that in one form or another, have more words than they need to, and it will be your task to omit the needless words. First of all, from the Iaw are gone on then from a number off other samples of Texas While they went to be fiction, there's a nonfiction. There's various different kinds of writing in their Teoh give you the practice that is demanded. Now, if you're very disciplined, you can head off and put in the literally hours off work off hard struggle. You know, if I show you an exercise at the gym like, I don't know what bicep kill play. I don't do a lot of bicep girls, but if I did show it to you, couldn't men say, Well, I now strong because you've been shown the exercise. You have to do the exercise. You have to do it. Ours repetitive Lee after practice, and it's exactly the same with writing practice. If you want to get the full benefit from knowing to omit needless words, you need to practice that repetitive Lee over and over again. And that's what the first writing practice is, therefore, and if you're very disciplined, you will go away and you will do that before you listen to the very end off this talk have hours past. Have you put in the practice? Probably not, but that's OK. That's OK. If you're very disciplined, you can do that. But if you're not so disciplined, we'll talk now about what this practice is teaching because omit needless words is the practice. But it's not the heuristic, the heuristic that the practice teachers is even Mawr fundamental than that. When we go through samples of writing when we met needless words, we're learning a very fundamental heuristic on. This is to systematically scan for the purpose on the function of every word, as you were writing them on as you are reading them. And it's this standing process that every word we're right down on the page. We're asking, What does this word tell in the words off the Strunk and White, You know, what does this word tell? What is this word doing here? What's the function off this word in the machine off words that I am constructing? What does this word do? What does this sentence do? What does this paragraph do and were continually doing? This is writers. As we get stronger, we get this scanning process that's continually standing. All the words, every sentence, every paragraph that we're writing on. This is the heuristic that the practice teachers omit needless words teaches us to constantly be scanning for what does this word tell? What's it's function? What's his purpose? What part does it play in this little machine of words or big machine of words? If you're creating a whole book that I am writing Okay, this waas writing practice number one off 11 we have 10 more to go for full course. You have many hundreds of hours of writing practice ahead of you to build up the's skills you can find course primarily on my patronage. Helped. You will also find it on you to me and skill share in the fullness of time. It may be available for free or parts were available free on YouTube. Come and sign up for my poacher and follow me on Facebook if you wish. Twitter instagram a few other places where I'm quite active. Thank you for watching. Thank you for participating. Good luck with work that's going to follow. Goodbye 5. Small Strong Words 1 of 4: Super Callie ISS Soup Super Carly. Fragile List. Fragile Mr Gatsby, Gala Go Super Curly, Fragile ist ic Super Kelly. Fragile ist ic XB. Aledo Chas Actually unjust, pretending I am quite good at pronouncing exceptionally long words. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Dosha is this is one off the longest words in the English dictionary as many dictionaries that it's not in because it is in fact, a nonsense word from that story. Mary Poppins. But it's a good example off our belief in the power. Oh, long words are misplaced belief in the power of long words, because while supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a tremendously eye catching word you're going to remember, it doesn't really tell you very much. And these long words you know the cliche that people who know very long words very intelligent. Actually, it's usually the opposite good communicators. Very intelligent people work not with long words, but with short words and short words. Is the theme off today's writing practice, Thank you very much. Welcome back to writing practices, the second in a series off 11 talks teaching you powerful heuristics to improve your writing. This course grew out off my almost 20 years experience teaching, writing to undergraduate students to adult learners, to prisoners, to old people to Children, andan all kinds of other settings and my observation that there's no such thing as a bad writer. But there are writers who have bad heuristics. You're a stick is a rule of thumb. It's a simple way that we judge the quality of what we're doing. An example of a heuristic is if you're crossing the road, stop, Look, listen. And if you talk to stop, to look and to listen for traffic you have good heuristics. You probably won't get run over. But if you talk to sprint across the road as soon as you get to it, this is a bad touristic and you'll probably get run over. Girgis heuristics make us good at things bad Heuristics Rules of thumbs generally make us bad things. And what we're attempting to do in this course is learn 11 super powerful heuristics through writing practices. To get the most in this course, you have to practice. So I hope you've seen the introduction. I hope you've seen talk number one where we looked at omit needless words that one of the most basic your Essex, we can apply to our writing is to use only the words that we really need in order to craft on meaning on the page. I gave you a writing practice to teach the heuristic for that, and I hope you have put in the hours toe learning because that's the only way this course will work. It will be very interesting to listen to my little talks, but the real work happens away from the screen, away from the camera at my end when you are doing the practices themselves. So let's move into thinking about juristic number two. 6. Small Strong Words 2 of 4: what is the second writing practice? It's entitled. Small words strike hard. I believe in the last lesson. They made a brief reference of samurai swords on. If you think about indeed a samurai sword a night for razor blade, anything that you're trying to cut with, it's the tiniest point on the knife that does the cutting, because this is the point where the most pressure is applied from whatever force you're putting in to the cutting implement and the same is true with words. It's not the long words if the small words that strike hard in a given piece of writing gonna have a quick look at another one of these long words to show you the counter example . Anti anti disc establishmentarian ism. Anti establishmentarian is, um this is generally considered to be the longest word in the English language, and it means opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England. So there's a Church of England. There is a movement for the disestablishment off the Church of England, which had previously been established, so established structuring. Then we're gonna disestablished the Church of England. But there are people who oppose the disestablishment of the Church of England, which is anti disestablishment terrorism, a word with very specific usage. These very, very long words have very specific uses may come in useful, but they're not where the real power of writing lies that nice. In the very, very small words, What's long? Words have very specific meanings. Small words have fundamental meanings, and that's very different. A specific meaning means only one thing. A fundamental meaning means something that underlies other meaning is the fundament the foundation of many other meanings? So if you think about that word and t diss establishmentarian ism, it begins with a small world anti against. Not like not this thing anti. We will understand that word. It could be wrapped into other words, but on its own, it's quite powerful word. We're gonna take a look at some small words. My favorite work festival Love. So Love has a very fundamental meaning, and what's interesting is that when something has a very fundamental meaning, it's very difficult for me to communicate. I could write an essay about what love is, but it wouldn't convey exactly what you understand when you hear the word love. So these tiny words of work. 1000 words. Let's have a look at this word. Love in practice from the great lyricist John Lennon, I Believe, or Paul McCartney, but I think it was Lenin. Love. Love is all you need. Love, love, love. Love is all you need the Beatles. So it's a tiny word there. Love is all you need. Is that true? Or a false statement? But just that collection of words makes us wonder about something very profound is love or you need. Don't you need food? Heating, shelter, safety? Maybe? No. Maybe you only need love or the antonym toe. Love hate. It's a very powerful word in French lane hate and this is a little quote from Socrates. From the deepest desire comes the deadliest hate when the philosopher Socrates there from the deepest desire, comes the deadliest hate. And is that word that single small word, which really hits you with the meaning of the sentence Hate the smallest word of all I just a single line depending on how you write it. I here quit for money Discover, originally written in Latin Cognito Ergo sum, I think. Therefore, I, um where is the work being done? in that sentence being done with this tiny word I and it's talking about what I is. And it's so difficult to define what I is because its meaning is so fundamental that you have to refer back toe. I I think that will I am you on entire three letters in the word you and just think about what we wouldn't be able to say without that tiny word You another song lyric from the Carpenters Just like me they long to be Why do birds suddenly appear just like me? They long to be close to you two year again it's that single word which is doing all the work in the sentence War, War I mean, how do we define war is a fight as a conflict. What do we define it in the words off Another great philosopher, Plato. Only the dead have seen the end of war. So worry something so fundamental. If you were are alive, you're going to experience some form off war. We live in a very fortunate era where many of us haven't fought in a physical war. But we still experience this Finkel war. This fundamental conflict between living beings last one in this list. Life, Life? What is like mean to you? For George Bernard Shaw, life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself, a beautiful example of mirroring their something will look at in one of the later talks in this series. So we had these words Love, hate I. You war life. They usually only one syllable, just a small collection of letters. In some cases just a single line, just a few lines on a page, just a small collection of vocalizations. And they have these incredibly fundamental meanings. And when we are writing or indeed speaking, it's these fundamental meanings that we're really working with. Some off the most powerful sentences are made entirely off small words. So if you take a lot of these fundamental meanings and attach them together, even only two or three of them, you can produce some of the most powerful. Sentence is quite the opposite of the idea that you know, some academic writers or some technical writers might think that the mawr complicated words and acronyms you have together. And the longer the sentences, the more the more powerful your writing is going to be. Nonsense, not at all for really powerful writing. You want to focus on these small words that strike hard. William Shakespeare, fundamentally one of the greatest writers, certainly in the English language who has ever bean. This is one of his greatest lines from the play Hamlet. Many actors have tried to deliver these lines. Most of them fail. I find, you know, Lawrence Olivia very famously played Hamlet, but I don't think he did it. ALS that, well, kind of Brenna neither. So now I'm going to give you my rendition off the most famous line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet to be Oh, not to be, To be or not to be, To be or not to be. There's only one word in that sentence with three letters the rest of them which are repeated to be or not to be. And we also have mirroring him. Let's have a think about other, less good ways that you could say the sentence to be or not to be. Is it better to live to be to live a full life or not to bother living at all? The next line in the in Hamlets soliloquy is to be or not to be to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I think there are a few other words I'd missed out there, but what I am a is asking, And should we live life, although it's full of suffering, inevitably full of suffering? Or should we not do so on all Shakespeare needed to convey that was a collection of six words to be not to be that is exceptionally powerful. Writing on it all grows from small words. Strike hard because of their fundamental meaning. Putting these words together one of my favorite phrases in the modern language of the 20th century. It's a phrase that people underestimate because it's so familiar to us. The Nike slogan. Just do it, Just do it. Just think about all of the meanings implicit in this sentence. Just three words. A four letter word into two letter words. All of them were incredibly fundamental meanings. Just do it. We could say this. It's to a short sentence, but it's much longer. You conduce you whatever you want. You could do whatever you want. You can do anything you want. You can be absolutely what you want to be, but you can say all of that in Just do it. Wieden and Kennedy, the advertising agency who came up with this. Allegedly it was device because at the end of a meeting, when they hadn't come up with a new Nike slogan, was I the Wheat? Nor Kennedy said, Let's do it and that became just do it. And that became the slogan. And it says something that's really important to Nike trainers. And that was a very powerful idea in the 20th century, which which hadn't bean an idea really in culture before them because we believed that it to do anything to achieve anything great with sometimes like a gift from the gods. You couldn't terminate yourself where you had to be given permission by your cultural society. But in the 20th century, we became much more individualistic, and we began to, um 7. Small Strong Words 3 of 4: think that we could achieve anything that we wanted to in life. And the idea of sports, where the individual tryouts and is a hero was very important to that. And Nike shoes as a brand, you know, someone who does a lot of work with marketing and advertising as a writer. It's just a wonderful idea that you can just do it. And it's why Nike is so tremendously popular. Let's move this on a little bit, so we've got fundamental meanings. We've got sentences that use lots of small words together for their fundamental meaning. And then we have the strength and meaning of a sentence. And he's a longer sentences often rests on a small word, so you can have a huge sentence in some cases or whole paragraph, all resting upon one small word. Think back to our metaphor. The samurai saw the knife, the razor blade in its that cutting edge tiniest point, which is doing all off the work, and that the strength and meaning of the whole sentence is just resting on this one. Small word. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Dickens is a beautiful ranked number in this day and age hard to read because he doesn't work with the modern expectations of fiction writing. And he senses are rather baroque eso they sentenced by Charles Dickens. I loved her against reason against promise against peace, against hope, against happiness against all discouragement that could be Now you might be thinking, if you're clever, that the real meaning of the sentence comes at the end. Be That's not the important word in this sentence. And it's not beginning either. It's no I. Let's look for this. I loved her against reason against promise against peace, against Hope, against happiness against a wall. Discouragement. That could be It's the Aled there. I loved her because you can boil this sentence down. I I loved her. Get birth. Okay. You can give all these examples. Reason, promise. Peace, hope. Interesting. They expand the meaning. They give it more poetic weight. But the real men incomes. I loved her against a wall. That's what you need. I loved her against a wall and it's that all. And it says something. I mean, if you know this story of great expectations, it'll it encapsulates The entire story is the story of somebody who loves another person even when that person is in many ways the worst possible thing in their life. A huge, destructive force in their life and its allies in that three letter word als als ALS. You say these words over and over again. They just become nonsense alone because that just annoys. But there are noise that we impart of incredible meaning. If I say the word all to you as an English speaker, so much happens in the neural lattice is off your brain just from that one noise. And that's that's the power of languages. Thes small noises, thes scratch little symbols on a page that set off these explosions of meaning in our consciousness. Get a Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway, famous for small sentences for writing small sentences, short sentences on the idea that you should only write in short sentences. In fact, as you can see in this sentence, Hemingway doesn't just use short sentences, but he judges very well went to raise short sentence, went to write a long sentence again. This is one of our future talks, one of our future heuristics. So this is from a farewell to arms on his Hemingway the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you're none of these, then you can be sure it will kill you too. But there will be no special hurry. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. What a beautiful sentence. The world breaks everyone and afterward, many of strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good in the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none off these, you can be sure it will kill you too. But there will be no special hurry. So beautiful. I just had to read it twice. The word hair is killed. Kill the meaning of kill is so fundamental that it's basis of a lot horror. Our entire concept of evil stems from the word kill because it's something that is unthinkable to us. But he's innate in the human nature. There's so much you can say about the word kill. But it's this. It's this small, tiny forward that gives Ernest Hemingway's sentence here, its power and its the reputation repetition across a group of sentences that mounts up and adds layers off nuance to what Hemingway is saying there. Um, well, just fantastic writing, all resting on these small words that hit hard Onda have fundamental meanings on where the strength off those sentences is from small words that they're employing, suggested read. Every one of these talks has its just read were really working in the realm of poetry when we think about these small words, especially using them together in a sentence like to be or not to be. So I suggested re to expand your skills of poetry. Because many writers neglect poetry. Of course, poets do not. But many people who want to be novel this copywriters, perhaps, and copyrighting is narrow where poetry can really, really help a great deal. Don't think of what they are doing as poetry, and that's a great train, because it's really in the study off poetry that you get the superpowers of the writer at the word sentence in paragraph level. So this is a fantastic read, especially for people who are a bit scared or intimidated. Poetry is the Road Less Travel By Stephen Fry You'll find a link in the notes where you can purchase that book. Please do purchase it support offers when we linked to them from these courses. The old, less traveled Stephen Fry is a wonderful communicator comedian writer Bomb Beaver, National Treasure Off the English language And in this book he reveals his kind of lifelong love poetry, just another string to his bow of many strings. And it's a wonderful, wonderful guide. Really. Um, both both powerful and deep an extreme excess, but at the same time. So pick that up. Okay, we all time is moving on, so let's get into the writing practice full this talk. 8. Small Strong Words 4 of 4: First of all, we're gonna write one sentence for each of the strong and small words listed below. Those words are love Hate I you war, life, kill hell, good evil Still only and you can add as many foundational, fundamental, hard hitting small words as you wish. Take this exercise as far as you can. The more you do it, the more strengthening you will grow. For each of those words were gonna rewrite they sentenced three times or write one sentence . Then we'll rewrite it. So written it three times and all using that word in the first version or the sentence place the smaller strong word at or near the beginning doesn't have you the very first word that has been near to the beginning of the sentence in the second version, place it at the end off the sentence. In the third version, place it somewhere in the middle off the sentence. If you find this exercise difficult, good, that means you're learning. But it's also because we will get more into things like sentence structure. It's a little later. Heuristics practices in the course, so all of these practices across 11 off them, they will work up on build together and you'll find that when you come back to them, you will be stronger. As a consequence, let's have a look at an example. Isn't where love love makes full love makes fools of even the strongest men. Even the strongest men are made falls by love. Such beginning of the end, The strongest men love makes foolish. There is in the middle, so you have tow. Change the sentences you have to change the congregation of various words on. You have to move words around, but you're fundamentally right in the same sentence. You cannot write this instances, but you're rewriting the same sentence three times with a small, powerful word in a different position each time. Give that sometime, redo it, work with words and then move on to Part two in Part two. For each strong and small words, select one sentence or the three that you wrote, so it might be a beginning right at the beginning, where it's at the end, where it's at the middle. Just one one sentence for each off. The words on your selection should include a varieties they shouldn't always getting should be at the end and then combine. So let's say you did seven worth. So you got seven sentences. Combine all of the sentences into one passage off Writing para girl seven sentences using seven different powerful words which were different positions within the paragraph. This exercise is a little bit more difficult. The ones in the following weeks usually get even more difficult. Still, we're slowly ratcheting up the difficulty, but you will find that this develops a great strength in your writing. If you have some self discipline, you are going to go away and do this exercise may take you an hour, a few hours, a few days. It may take you a few weeks, then come back and get more information about what the second heuristic is that we were learning in this exercise. Super fairly fragile ist ic xpr Lido shows. Have you done it? Have you done in the practice? Okay, I'm going to take you on trust. You have done the writing practice for this talk and now I'm gonna look about the second here. Ristic is learning to see in every sentence where the meaning strikes. So in the first talk, the heuristic was about learning to use only words that we needed, omitting needless words here we're thinking about small words that strike hard. Andi, that is, training us to look at where this, the meaning is in a sentence in the collection of sentences, a paragraph, a passage off writing. Because when we're writing, we have this engine in our head. This this engine of language, of writing of words. And if we train it properly, it's continually scanning through the piece of writing that we're working on, or indeed editing, looking for the patterns off meanings in the sentences and the more effectively the stronger the engine is. And that's what we're training here, the more easily we can re shape the passage of writing or indeed, the poem to convey exactly the meaning that we wanted to and to do so in powerful ways. For instance, you don't want your meaning to be at the end of every sentence because this becomes repetitive indicates a lack variation in fort dedicates that your fought is weak and that you've probably made a bad argument in the writing. It's a simple is that so variation of meaning comes because you need to make the meaning around to say precisely the right thing. And that gives you this kind of really chaotic patterning off the meanings that beginning the meanings of middle that's in the middle again. That is the beginning. Then it's for the end of each of these sentences on this creates beautiful writing on a page when we teamed this up with the heuristics that come later in the course as well. You start to see in passages of writing where you just saw words before you start to see the most tremendous patterns. And that's a great indicator you are developing writerly superpowers on Thank you very much for joining in Talk number two in writing practice. Please, please, please take the time to do the exercise. My name is Daniel Walter. If you haven't collected that information along the path of this course so far, you can find the full series of talks on you to me and skill share possibly a few other places. By the time you're watching it, you can follow along directly on, like Patri on page, which I really like. I really like it when people come my patrons, it will in the full course off time, be on YouTube. If you have questions, come and find me on Twitter and quite active on Twitter. It's a good place to ask me questions about thes writing courses. Thank you very much again. Good luck in your writing practice. 9. Power of Pronouns 1 of 3: hello and welcome back to writing practice. This is the third in our Siri's off talks exploring 11 power heuristics for writers. And I'm very excited to get into that. You may notice I have a slightly shorter haircut than in previous talks. I'm recording this on the island of Bali. We're currently in a semi locked down because off the Corona virus, which has been affecting countries all around the world. So I had to choose a haircut that would work without a barber for possibly the next few weeks or even months on. Therefore, I've gone with a nice military style cut. Let's get into what we're talking about today, however, which is the power off pronouns, and we're gonna talk about how we use thes little words in the third of our talks. Even back to the first talk on the second tour, we were looking at the different uses of words. This is the third in the Siri's off word focus talks, and after this, we're gonna be moving into sentences on these words that we're looking at specifically today often seem too many people rather insignificant or unimportant within the sentences and paragraphs and the pieces off writing in which they operate. But the writing practice that we're gonna be exploring today is, in my opinion, on in my daily professional practice as a writer the single quickest and most powerful way to improve your writing. So if you only listen to one of these talks and if you only take away one of the writing heuristics that the course is exploring, this is the one to focus on. And I would also focus a lot of time on the practice exercises because this is writing practice. This is a talk that introduces an idea on the ideal Very interesting, but you're only really going to get the full value from it. If you complete the exercises and invest time, it might take 30 minutes to understand this idea. It could take three hours off 30 hours of practice to really get a strong grasp on it on incorporated into your own writing, be that fiction, writing or journalism or copyrighting or whatever area the profession you wish to explore. And over many years I found myself working on all of those different areas, and this how alive arrived at this writing hack, which is all about the power off pronouns. Let's look a little piece of writing that I wrote on its to make a point, so it's slightly exaggerated, but I'm going to read it to you. I walked into the restaurant out of the rain. I saw her sitting in the window and felt nervous. I gave my coat to the waiter and crossed the floor at the table. I ain't pulled out my chair and sat down. When I asked her her name, I was surprised that she told me looking at the menu was making me hungry, so I waved at the waiter. I ordered a plate of chips on bread with butter. I was very hungry. How do you feel about that piece of writing? I think it's much weaker Then it could be on that. This piece of writing is flat on. The reason it's very flat is because it's using. With a few exceptions, only one pro now the pronoun here is the word I, the shortest possible word only matched by a Maybe there are a few other single letter words. I can't recall them at the moment, but this is the first and most basic program I. When we talk about pronouns, they are a simple way to think about them, expressing a point of view that a piece of text is written from and in the case off I. It's written from the first person, and this is a very common way to write as well. Explore slightly later in the talk to write prose fiction. If you pick up famous young adult novels. Particularly, this became the popular style for young adult fiction, famous young adult fiction like the Hunger Games, which also became a very successful series of movies. It's written in this first person I, but the fact that you're writing in the first person doesn't mean that you should continually use the word I over and over again, because this creates a very common problem in prose fiction writing Janice is called the Cascading. I has a few other names. That's where if you look at this piece of text in the notes, you'll see that the word I just repeats again and again and again. As the tax continues on, it makes it sound. Or could it makes it look or quit. It makes it read awkwardly from the page. So here's another way off. Approaching this rewritten again, it's a little bit exaggerated to make the point. Pronoun substitution were taking those eyes and substituting them with a wider variety of pronounce. But we're staying in the first person. What's doing it? The rain made me run the last 100 yards to the restaurant, a brass bell tinkled as I pushed open the door. She had chosen a window seat and sat contemplating the view, the waiter fast with my coat, patting it dry before hanging it on the stand. This gave me time to calm my nerves. People glanced up from the conversations as I crossed the restaurant floor. Her name was Maggie, she said, before offering me the empty seat. The menu was on lately designed but offered plane home cooked fare. I chose a plate of chips on bread with butter. Blind dates always made me hungry 10. Power of Pronouns 2 of 3: so there's a number of things that we could say about this piece of texting and a focus on two of them. 1st 1 is this substitution off, replacing I, the simplest of all possible pronounce with a selection off other pronouns like her, She the waiter, Aren't we you a variety of other ways of expressing points of view in the piece of writing . Doing this also has a really interesting effect, and it's something that we're going to talk about a little bit more in later talks in this course, and that's that. It's generative. What does that mean when it means When I wrote the first version using only I and I was just looking for the point of view off that one character. It was more difficult to think off things to observe and record in a piece of writing. But when I make switches into different kinds of points of view and use different pronouns , I have to think about the way they're seeing things on that produces or generates much mawr detail and depth for the piece of writing. And this is why pronouns are super important. Are pronouns have evolved over time to express a point of view. This is what they do, and they're very deeply embedded in our language. Imagine early human beings before they could even talk. We were just semi human ape, like living on the Savannah. In Africa, we think on before we could talk, we had to come up with the idea of what we were talking about. What's the subject that's being talked about on? What's the point of view that it's being talked him out from on the first point of view is I I hunted the ball. I hunted the elephant. I went for a run. I rent for a swim. The first things that you can have a point of your one all about you And so in the English we express. This is I next. As my consciousness develops, I'm able to think about you. You hunt the bore, you hunt the elephant. You went for a run, you go for a swim. When I get even more complicated, I can think about something more abstract it the rock it the program for an object. I'm looking at it. Well, the the rock. Uh then even mawr complicated. I can think about we, you and I Together we go for a walk, we go for a swim, we should hunt the bear together. And you see how this encapsulate its more points of view. And then from we I can go to they I can look at a group of people and I can say today will hunt the ball. They have won the race. They are very good at swimming the tribe over there. And then I can also applying gender to this and will think about this a little bit more. In just a second. He she he hunts the ball, she hunts the ball. And this has put pronounce has made them slightly controversial in recent years because many people want to put aside the idea gender pronouns. And this is why we have conversations about is it right to talk about people as he or she or should they be able to use other pronouns which don't imply this idea off gender? So I'm going to go into a little aside to explain why gender is so deeply embedded into some languages on. This is useful to think about on a number of levels, So this course obviously is focused on the English language. But I'd love to know, leave a comment or contact me. If this gender ring happens in other languages in the same way, please let me know. But English is basically a fusion. The simp Asus, off to older language is now one of these is called Germanic, and there are many Germanic languages and German now is an example on people who spoke Germanic languages through the Anglo Saxon tribes invaded the British islands, and they, pretty much they quite. They came quite close to wiping out Theo, older Celtic tribes who had been there before, and so Germanic Anglo Saxon became the main language of the British Isles. But then, later on Britain Waas invaded by the Frankish people's off what would later become France, and they had a Latinate language. It had evolved from Latin Andi from ancient room, where Latin was the spoken language of dates day life on these Germanic and Latin, it stems fused to become what we think off as modern English, and you can still see this in the availability of different words for similar ideas. So, for instance, anger anger is a Germanic root rage is the Latinate equivalent. Ask is the Germanic roots. Inquire is the Latinate equivalent. Baby is the Germanic Groot infant, and in that word you can hear its similarity to French, which is Latinate language or form the French say own phone for a child or baby on. There's a few of these words listed in the notes. For this talk, you can see interesting examples here, like cow the Germanic words cow. The Latinate word is beef. So we've used this separation to talk about the meats that we get from a cow is beef. And there's some interesting moral and ethical reasons why we may choose to make that divide. Those of us who are not vegetarians you might want to think about that were in more general terms, though this Germanic versus Latinate split is often used to indicate formal verses, informal ways off speaking because the Anglo Saxon people's he spoke, the Germanic root language were conquered by the Normans who spoke the Latinate language. So the normal language became the language off. High born royalty and rich people in the British charts and the Germanic language became the language of the working classes. So we have this division, and you can use this really easily. It's a really simple way to indicate formal versus informal tone, and if you some online writing assistance, this is one of the things that they're using. Toe assess. Whether your tone is formal or informal, it's very useful these days. It could be a little bit of a trap, because if you use Latinate route terms all of the time, your language will seem rather less than formal and slightly more archaic on old fashioned bats. Definitely worth thinking about. That's a bit of an aside, but one of the reasons that English is able to escape gender as more more people think it that it shouldn't potential groove thumb is that when these two languages the Latin and the Germanic, came together, they used different gendered pronouns for the same words. So if you don't speak French or German, you find that they indicate on this is really bad in French. They indicate the gender of everything Look Orla and that means a table has a gender of bed has agenda. People, of course, have genders, all in animal objects, actions. Everything has agendas, so gender is really deeply rooted into the French language, but in English, because between German and French, these gender pronouns clashed. We had to come up with a neutral term, so we came up with the on. There is neutral. If I say the table, I say the bed. If I say the man, I'm no indicating in the pro Now the gender on that's allowed Britain to escape many gender assumptions Really interesting, right? Really useful if your professional writer to understand how to write without indicating gender increasingly important in professional communications, it's actually very definitely frowned upon on wall causing to look quite unprofessional. If you're consistent using he and she when you could be using the or they or their which isn't implying the gender of a professional person that you're working with where you shouldn't necessarily be on making assumptions about their gender really, really important for professional writing, just a large part of my professional writing work that's a little aside but important to think about. But it illustrates how deeply set in our language pronouns are pronouns our doorway into how we are able to tell stories and everything we do in languages telling stories so I Want to Read You a little bit from a book by James Woods On the Doors into fiction, James Wood is very famously established literary critic, New York or as well as of the places on this book. How fiction works is one that I recommend for anyone with ambitions to write really, really good fiction on This is a little section from it, which tells us a bit more about programs, and this is on the rating part one. The House of Fiction has many windows, but only two or three doors. I can tell a story in the third person or in the first person, and perhaps in the second persons singular or in the first person plural. Those successful examples of these latter two a rare indeed, And that is it. Anything else probably will not much resemble narration in May. Be closer to poetry or prose poetry, Just the beginning of Section two here. In reality, we are stuck with third and first person narration. Really interesting. So what's he's saying here in relation to pronounce well, what James word is saying? Gains would not. James Woods James Woods is an actor. James Word is a literary critic. Easy to make that confusion. What is James would telling us? We're saying that essentially you have I and you have the third person pronouns like he or she the they It was much more difficult to use you all. We which are the second person pronounced where, indicating Now there's a lot more depth you can go into about 1st 3rd 2nd person about the tense is that those used in when not going into that much detail in that talk in this talk , you should do some more reading on that, especially if you want to go into fiction. We're looking at the heuristic. We want to get to the heuristic that underlies using these pronouns, and that's where we going for. But I want to contradict. James would just ever so slightly because actually, you can use you and we you can use this second person on going to give you an example from the wonderful writing off George Orwell famously offered in 1984 and Animal Farm. But this is one of his nonfiction pieces of writing, which in his day he was very famous form, and this is the road toe Wigan Pier. And in this he uses you McGuinness to look at how and why he does that. So I just start reading from this. This is a piece of writing about the experience of poverty in the United Kingdom in the interwar period between World Wars one and two on George Orwell has taken a journey to Wigan Pier, which he discovered actually no longer existed when he got there. Um, and he's looking at people who live in very great poverty and among those is looking at coal miners. Or this isn't account off working in a coal mine and George Orwell's visit to that work. When you go down a coal mine, it is important to try and get to the coalface when the fillers are at work. This is not easy, because when the mind is working, visitors are a nuisance and are not encouraged. But if you go any other time, it is possible to come away with a totally wrong impression in the skip forward a little bit into this extract when you were finally got there and getting there is a job in itself , I would explain that in a moment you crawl through the last line of pit props and see opposite you a shiny black wall three or four feet high. This is the coalface. So what is George Orwell, who is a truly great writer? What's he using the you here for? He could have written. This is I. I went to the coal mine, and this is what I saw. He could have written as he she This is the experience of a person, but he's placing you in you. He's placing you in the experience, and he's doing this because he wants you to understand and have some first person since off the experience of poverty, of the experience of going down a coal mine. So actually received all of these pronouns, a profoundly useful to any piece of writing so useful. If you pick up any great piece of writing, you will tend to find that employees the full gamut of pronounce. Andi, I want to give you an example of this in a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of nonfiction. This is a piece of feature writing for one of the top well publications, and it is a It's a powerful piece of writing on a powerful topic. Uh, it's about, um, a murderer or Dylann roof who committed a mass murder, uh, against the church in the city of Charleston. A very important topic that you need to be at the top of your game to effectively write about. And they operate. This piece certainly did that, and it won her a Pulitzer Prize. As I read this, I'm only reading the opening. You can look again in the notes for the full text. I highly recommend reading it on also as many other Pulitzer Prize winning pieces of journalism as you can because they're often fantastic pieces of writing. As I read. Think about the prone arms. I'm going to emphasize thumb for you a most American terrorist. The making of Dylann roof. What are you What are you 11. Power of Pronouns 3 of 3: a member of the mother, Emanuel A. M E. Church in Charleston, asked at the trial of the white man who killed eight of her fellow black parishioners and their pastor. What kind of subhuman miscreant could commit such evil? What happened to you, Dylan. What happened to you, Dylan, We offer this piece spent months in South Carolina searching for an answer to those questions speaking. Avery's mother found of friends, former teachers on victims, family members, all in an effort to unlock what went into creating one of the coldest killers of our time. Sitting beside the church, drinking from a bottle of Smirnoff ice, he fought, he had to go in and shoot them. They were a small prayer group, a rising star preacher and elderly minister. Eight women, one young man on little girl. But to him, they were a problem. He believed that his black Americans they were raping are women and taking over our country . So he took out his Glock handgun and calmly while they're eyes were closed in prayer. Open fire on the 12 people gathered in the basement off mother Emanuel A. M E church and shot almost every single one of them dead. Let's think back over this so only a few paragraphs. It's incredibly powerful writing. Let's think about why and how the pronouns help it do that. What are you, this prone on use of you? Very early on. Establishes question. Who's you? And he was talking. We find it was talking. And then it's not until the end off the paragraph that the U. S repeated. What happened to you, Dylan, that the subject of the U is identified. Then we shift into a different contextual paragraph altogether. The uses of number pronouns to indicate we're now standing outside the text in talking about it. Then we lead back into the text, and now we go into the point of view off Dylan Roof, sitting beside the church, drinking from a bottle of Smirnoff ice. That's already great detail, cause something about Smirnoff ice indicates absolutely alienated. Wasted youth. Kids who drink Smirnoff ice had have no value to society, so they're left to drink. He thought he had to go in and shoot, then brilliant conflict. The's pronounce butting into each other to make this powerful sentence. He thought he had to go in and shoot them. And there's something in the use of then that to Dylann roof the Zahra they there in other kind of non human. And then we go into this brilliant play of points of views, all done with the smart use of pronounce. They were a small prayer group, a rising star preacher, etcetera, etcetera. But to him, they were a problem. He believed as black Americans. So he took out, He's got, can go on and calmly. So he took out his Glock hang on and comedy while their eyes were closed in prayer Very quick shift the point of view and then back open fire on the 12 people show almost every single one of them dead. So to achieve this kind of condensed, highly effective, highly emotive, wonderfully powerful writing, the tool to do that is pronoun use which pronounced to use How do they support a conflict we've with each other. And crucially, how do they shift the point of view, I suggested read to follow up on this. We've already mentioned that how fiction works by James would This will give you a lot more depth, especially the first section, which is about first furd of what is quite a short book. A lot more depth on how to use point of view on the pronounced indicated to build up really powerful effects in your writing. Please do Go on, have a reader that take the time It's a few hours reading It will give you much, much, much more material toe work home But to develop this power off using your pronouns we're guns. Do an exercise called pronoun substitution or read through this quickly for you You can really for it in your own time In the notes for this talk complete the writing tasks listed below using a lot off the pronounce in the order they are listed So each one of these tasks finishes weather set to pronounce You must use the pronouns in the order they are listed because this is helping you learn to generate powerful prose from a structure of pronouns You don't have a choice in the pronounce you have to work around them and you have to do this kind of thing. Tell a story of the last journey you took on public transport using the pronouns I you you I we he they are you how you use those is up to you. You're probably going to use roughly one per sentence. Give the X get that exercise ago. Get that task ago. Describe the building. New 11. Using the pronounce We I we are you he they I quite a lot of repetition in that. So I'm going to do one of these. Argue for an idea you believe in using the proud me the pronounce They we, you, you, they we I So the pressure is on because I can do this. Live for your home? Obviously it's recorded, I may add it parts this out to make myself look better. I'm gonna try and do it in one Go. You can watch to see if there are any edits. Argue for an idea that I believe so. I believe that we should pay a universal basic income to everyone in the world. You don't have to believe this idea. You can disagree of me. It's my task toe. Argue for it. They they say that poverty is a sin. I don't believe this, but they say that poverty is a sin way. Who coal our cells liberal believe poverty is created by society. I didn't have any of these ideas. Begin with a bean generated by the pronouns Pull now of my subconscious into the surface. This story's your bit. How generated Pronin use and generated writing works. You, you, you, Laurita, may agree or disagree. You the reader may agree or disagree with my belief, but you must agree My typing is a little bit inaccurate here. Forgive me Tight, tight with twice you The reader may grill described my belief, but you must agree that the poll that the problem off poverty is serious whatever the cause , he must agree, is serious. They I'm not going to start sentence. We're gonna come to it later. The profession off economics is gripped with a radical idea. They claim a UNA universal basic income could defeat poverty. All I this is clearly being written by a person clearly being by me. It's clearly my opinion, but I'm preserving the word I for the very end. I've been told to do this by the instructions and that remember, back to our last talk we fought about how you hold meaning to the end of a sentence to build tension. Um, the profession of economics has gripped a radical idea. They claim a universal basic income could defeat poverty. I I wholeheartedly agree. And there we have generated by the use pronounce on the point of view that they indicate. Then we have not bad opening paragraph two on opinion, piece of journalism on the topic off universal basic income. And if you go and look really great piece of writing fiction nonfiction, you can add this is an exercise. Find a great piece of writing, find a piece of writing that you admire. Look at the pronouns you will almost stories find this very deliberate deployment of pronouns to create really powerful usage off point of view. Okay, take sometime. Do these exercises and tasks repeat them if necessary, expand upon them. Invest. I would say it wouldn't be bad to invest 10 hours of time into practicing the use of your pronouns in this kind off exercise and then apply in pieces of writing that you're working on is well, this is how we build up great skills. Okay. Welcome back. You have spent some time working on these exercises. You've built up the skills of the writing practice that we've looked at, in this talk the power pronounce. Now what's the heuristic? What's the heuristic this is teaching us is not simply about pronounce. It's about point of view and about thinking where every word we write and indeed every sentence we write, every paragraph that we build from those words sentences for every job that we do is a writer with every word that you right, look for the point of view. The express's we fought in the last talk about how the meaning six A certain place in the sentence and that sentence when you look at the pronouns is also a point in the sentence where you're told what the point of view is. And in powerful writing, sometimes that can switch very quickly and sentence sometimes very consistent over many sentences. You when you learned that from experience from practice. Thank you very much. My name is Damon Walter. You have been watching my shaved head give you this talk. You can catch up with the whole course on join him with the talks that are still to come on you, to me and on scale share. You can also do that as a patron on my patri on account. You'll find links to those. Wherever you are watching this talk, you can find some of them for free on YouTube and they will be released at various times. You can come and follow me on Instagram or Twitter, where I share photos of my life and sometimes discussed political opinions like universal basic income. Thank you very much again. I hope that this course so far is very useful for you. Drop a great view wherever you're following it and come back when we will be moving in the fourth talk from words on into sentences and well. Oh, my God, Is there so much exciting stuff to cover in sentences? Thank you very much.