Copy Talk

The Coffee Table Book of Writing Tips

The first thing you may have noticed about this coffee table book is that it isn’t a book. You’re a very perceptive person and exactly the reader this book needs.

Good readers like you tend to make good writers. Not great, but good. Which is why good writers (still looking at you) need writing tips. Once you read a writing tip, you absorb it into your own writing like paper towels soaking up spilled beer. Why are so many people spilling beer? I do not know. All I know is that good writers tend to own coffee tables.

It’s a harmonious union, writing tips and coffee table books, and one I’m excited to exploit. If you happen to be reading this off a screen, please place that screen on a coffee table for full effect.


1. To make a text less technical, add thingamabob to every other sentence.

2. Sound more personable by adding guys at the end of the sentence, guys.

3. Be more concise by not finishing your

4. Breaks. Add. Drama. Despite. Being. Obnoxious. And. Kinda. Played. Out.

5. Everything is more exciting with an exclamation point!

6. Double or nothing: two exclamation points!!

7. When something sounds too flowery, stop mentioning petals so much.

8. Can asking a yes/no question ever backfire? No.

9. Metaphors are guys wearing shorts in winter. Confusing unless explained (they just left the gym).

10. If you need to hide that you have nothing to say or don’t know what to say, keep your sentences long so readers, especially insecure ones, think they aren’t bright enough to grasp the concept in the first place and not that there was no real concept to grasp when all is said and done (because nothing was said and, if you follow this tip carefully, you’re not done; even in your parenthetical, you’re not done because you thought of something else to add, which smart readers will get [meaning you are not a smart reader because you didn’t get it haha sucks for you]).

11. Fact: you can say whatever you want after you say “fact.”

12. A fancy verb can obfuscate a whole paragraph.

13. The only way to add style to your prose is to style your prose.

14. Combining two words into one makes you look smartastic.

15. Great conclusions should make you think, so try to y = x/2 + 4x

Feel free to practice these tips in the comments below to perfect your skills. This will separate you from the pack, unless the pack also writes something in the comments. In which case you’re a trendsetter; go you. Write on and always y = 10x (x-6x) + 3.

This book is dedicated to Emily Kelly, who (perhaps wrongly) told me I should write it. Great writing tip, Emily!


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