How to instantly improve your story

By putting a little zing in your writing with power words.

Super Heroes - Jean's Writing

Now I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but I’m not promising to instantly make you a NY Times bestseller. No, that’s gonna take a whole lot more information than I possess. However, should I ever be so fortunate as to ascend to such lofty heights, I’ll be in a better position to share the climb.

But back to improving. That’s where I’m at now. Tweaking and changing and learning how to better grab my readers. To that end, I’ve found a couple of terrific posts.

Use Power Words to Spice Up Every Page of Your Book or Website  by Judy Cullins

317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer  by Jon Morrow

In these articles, they write about using powerful, thought-provoking words that will not only grab but also hold the attention of a reader. Both Ms. Cullins and Mr. Morrow also provide an extensive list of “power words” that help us get started.

Words Have Power - Jean's Writing
Use the right one!

What did I glean from their posts?

  • Words have power but use the right ones.
  • Smart speakers, as well as writers, sprinkle power words without drawing attention to them.
  • Power words invoke emotion.
  • A story will be bland and dull without a few power words.
  • Not all power words are the same. Some invoke passion, others greed, fear, joy, or create comfort and curiosity.

Here is today’s challenge.

Check one of your favorite books, are power words used in the first paragraph?

Look at your current WIP, do you have power words to grab a reader?

Will adding a power word or two make the paragraph better?

What do you think?

Talk to me – I love reading your comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 

Images courtesy of Pixabay

Sometimes the easiest is the most direct

Like, use what is right in front of me. There’s not a long learning curve with a program I already know. Duh!

This appears to be a lesson I seem destined to learn the hard way over and over.

After spending all day, and I do mean all day, researching and downloading various programs I figured out what I’d been using was the best all along. Go back to the tried and true. 

All that time wasted. Sometimes I’m so hard-headed. 

Me- Duh Jean M Cogdell

However, one good thing did come out of it. 

I came across a valuable post filled with information. Information that I did need. 

Do you know how many pages a children’s picture book should have? 

Do you know how it should be constructed? Exactly? Dough boy - building crane

Picture Book Dummy, Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout by Tara Lazar

You see, my editor had just suggested I make up a dummy of my new children’s book before going in further. She thought a dummy might help me get a handle on the correct size of the book and the illustrations.

So I guess my day wasn’t wasted after all. 

Thanks, Ms. Lazar for this timely bit of info. With your post maybe I’ll avoid a lot of mistakes.

Now this dummy is off to lay out a dummy of

“A Most Reluctant Princess.”

Throne Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 9.22.25 PM - Copy

I hope some of y’all find the information as helpful as I did. If you did, talk to me…

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.