The “Write Like a Pro” Checklist

    June 17, 2003

Sure you can write, but can you write crisp, compelling copy that ezine publishers, related Web sites, and book audiences will clamor for?

To sell well, your articles, reports and books need to pass the checklist below:

1.___Make your title or headlines grab your reader by the collar. Include a benefit if possible or be outlandish.

2.___Create your opening paragraph to entice your reader continue. In fiction, start with the most important incident first. Use dialogue! In non-fiction, state the problem and offer a benefit (thesis).

3.___Make all parts of your non-fiction book, report, or article support the thesis.

4.___Be sure you have at least 5 writer edit your piece before the final professional edit.

5.___Make sure all your verbs are a consistent tense. Make the better choice of present or past tense rather than past-perfect or gerunds.

6.___Use strong, emotional or visual, power verbs rather than linking verbs like “to be.” Action verbs keep your story moving, so your reader won’t be bored.

7.___ Use metaphors so your piece shows instead of tells.

8.___Use picture and emotional words to replace telling words such as adverbs and adjectives. Show what suddenly looks like.

9.___Make sure your facts are accurate. Check with your librarian or the Web.

10.___Corral your writing into concise, compelling sentences. In the first edit, eliminate all redundancies. Do not preach.

11.___Do not over-describe with flowery descriptions. Let your characters speak the mood in dialogue.

12.___Make sure your piece is coherent. Test whether it flows or sounds natural by reading it aloud. Then, correct it before you pass it on for feedback.

13.___To make dialogues believable, make them short, not speeches. Use “said” rather than “screamed,” “pouted.” Show these in your character’s action. “Said” is like a comma, and readers don’t like to be slowed or talked down to.

14.___ Make sure you write your thesis for non-fiction and theme for fiction down before you write that chapter or article. This gives your work a center, a focus and helps you organize your thoughts. All chapters and paragraphs should support the thesis.

The thesis for this article is: Write like a pro is a checklist for all writers who want to be published.

15.___ Make your viewpoint consistent. If you start your story in first person, then make sure the whole chapter is from the “I”s point of view. All other characters are seen through only your viewpoint character’s eyes.Put your character’s comments into dialogue.

Get published! Use the above “Write Like a Pro Checklist” to guide you to financial success.

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people’s lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Author of 10 eBooks including “Write your eBook Fast,” “How to Market your Business on the Internet,” and “Create your Web Site With Marketing Pizzazz,” she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, The Book Coach Says…and Business Tip of the Month at and over 145 free articles. Email her at