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I'm looking to improve my writing. I would love to know if anyone has any tips on developing an engaging conversational writing style.

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  • Herr, I find this question very broad. Consider: what's "an engaging conversational writing style"? All writing tries to be engaging; how is "conversational" writing different than regular writing? So, what I think would be very helpful would be if you explained what it is you're writing, and where you're having trouble being conversational. Even if these were only there as examples, the question would be much clearer and we could give more thorough answers. :) – Standback Apr 28 '11 at 7:43
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The best advice I can give you is to study the works of writers who have mastered the lively, conversational style. There are many to recommend in this regard, such as Robert Parker, Elmore Leonard, Charlie Huston - the list is long.

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+1 to Elmore Leonard, esp. his 10 Rules for Writing. (Read the reviews or get it from the library before you buy new; some people think it's a waste of money. I think it's priceless.)

Mostly? Listen to what people say. Take notes. You don't need to write in dialect, but chances are, you need more periods. My written sentences are way longer than my oral ones. Hardly anybody ever speaks a semi-colon in conversation.

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