Z is for zing

Z is for zing

How to put real fizz into your copy

And so we come to Z. As well as all the other characteristics already outlined, good writing calls for something more. It needs some zing or zest. (We did have Z options, see.)

Zing, according to the Collins dictionary, is the quality which makes something “lively or interesting”. Injecting personality into your writing will make it more enjoyable to read, more memorable and therefore more successful. It can also help to build a relationship between your readers and brand.

Of course there are no rules for zinging. It is not a tangible, off-the-shelf quality. But there are plenty of ways you can try to introduce character to your writing.

The starting point is an interesting subject or angle and a clear sense of purpose. Articles, and indeed paragraphs and sentences, which set out without a clear target tend to plod rather than sparkle.

Consider your format, too. It might be that what you want to get across is better conveyed visually. Infographics can be a good way to bring facts and stats to life.

Avoid clichés and jargon and try to adopt a natural, informal but professional tone. A good way to do this is to imagine how you might explain what you want to say to a friend.

And reading your work aloud after you have finished is a good trick, too. Be honest. If it’s boring or entirely predictable, have another go.

Adding a few relevant anecdotes, analogies and details – something a little unexpected – can bring the zing.

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Giulia Rhodes
Giulia Rhodes