Writing tips and ideas blog

On our writing tips and ideas blog, Clarity brings you occasional thoughts about what makes writing work and what doesn't.


rupert morris, writer

The truth about complaint handling

Can energy companies really improve their complaint handling? Currently, customers typically have to contact their supplier six times before their issue can be resolved. With Ofgem breathing down their necks, Energy UK, which represents the industry, insists: “Handling complaints well is a must. Suppliers are committed to improving and a programme of change is under […]

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rupert morris, writer

Learning from a writing master

Skewering the phoney and pretentious is one of the great pleasures of life. It doesn’t happen often enough. Thank goodness for the likes of Richard Ford, the American novelist, who sets much of his work in New Jersey, but writes about people who are recognisable anywhere. I just read this passage from The Lay of […]

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susannah ross, web expert

De-clutter your website

Putting away winter clothes and getting out summer things makes me think, yet again, that I must get rid of some. Everything I don’t wear makes it harder to find the thing I want. It’s the same with a website: every extra page or bit of information means work for you to manage and makes […]

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Doges and lolcats

Doges and lolcats

I don’t normally write about internet memes, but I do like to write about the way language changes and I think that increasingly those changes are conceived online. Captioned pictures of animals speaking in a unique way are nothing new. We’ve had the “O RLY?” owl and the lolcat but the latest addition is the […]

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This one weird trick will change how you write forever!

I apologise. I have oversold myself with that headline. But I bet you couldn’t wait to click and find out what the trick was. Well, you’re not the only one. Sites like Upworthy have started to forego search engine optimisation in favour of writing headlines that people want to click on, known as “clickbait“. The […]

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Word of the year 2013: troll

I’ve picked ‘troll’ because it has recently changed its meaning. I’m not talking about the word in the sense of goat-bothering, flesh-eating monsters. I’m not even talking about the change it experienced around 20 years ago, when it started to refer to problematic users on internet message boards. A bit of history: most online forums […]

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Pathetic puns

So some writers love puns. They think it’s clever to make a sneaky little play on words for their readers to appreciate. There is a good example with the new ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper in London. It was in the news over the summer for acting as a giant parabolic mirror and focusing the sun’s rays […]

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Epic writing and reading

Did you hear the late Seamus Heaney’s reading of Beowulf on Radio 4? It sounded wonderful. I only vaguely followed the story, but that didn’t matter. It was still lovely to listen to and made me want to read it. Epics and sagas were meant to be listened to. Most weren’t written down until much […]

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