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Wordcraft Guidebook

NOTE: This resource was created before I had begun to decolonize my way of thinking, and should be read carefully. It may present beliefs or assumption that don't match what I currently believe.

Wordcraft Guidebook is a(n) guide

it is about writing


This document is a manual of how I style my writing: construct it in a way that I think accurately and precisely communicates my ideas.

The Written Voice

This section contains a general description of the voice I try to use. By voice, I mean the mix of content and style that gives my writing its personality. I wrote every rule in this manual with the primary objective of clarifying my voice.

My tone might change depending on what I'm writing, but my voice should stay consistent.

Write Respectfully

An important part of my tone is writing respectively: making positive assumptions about the writing's subject and audience.

To treat the reader with respect:

To treat the subject with respect I:

The Rules of Writing

The “rules” of writing are those relatively immutable standards which guide the construction of a clause or sentence. I call them rules because that's what everyone else seems to call them. Personally, I don't think they should be viewed that strictly.


Document Types

Rules of Grammar

Rules of Punctuation

Rules of Spelling and the Treatment of Specific Words

UK or US?
Noun Style Guide
I hate that there needs to be this section but there does.
Proper Noun Style Guide
This section contains how to write specific proper nouns.  It
is simply a list of proper nouns that _Gill and Sennhauser_
has found itself writing several times, so wanted to establish
a precise styling for.

| Noun                | Notes           |
| Gill and Sennhauser | no ampersand    |
| Org-mode            | not "Mode"      |
| emsenn              | not captialised |
Collective Noun Style Guide
singular noun formal collective noun(s) comedic collective noun(s)
congressperson members of congress a swamp
yak cabinet, herd tangle, gridlock
lawyer huddle, group tangle
Verb Style Guide
Verb Specifications
I mean, unless those are what make more sense.
Normally, you should use "use" in your sentences, unless you're
speaking of something that is being used in an unusual way, then
you _can_ say utilize. But you should probably still say use.
Usually method, unless it's not.
Contraction Style Guide

For my personal tone, I should:

In all writing, I should:

Use common contractions, such as it’s, you’re, that's, and don’t, to create a friendly, informal tone.

Don't mix contractions and their spelled-out equivalents in UI text. For example, don’t use can’t and cannot in the same UI.

Never form a contraction from a noun and a verb, such as emsenn’s developing a lot of new cloud services.

Avoid ambiguous contractions, such as there’d, it’ll, and they’ll.

Adverb Style Guide
Forbidden Adverbs

Obviously not forbidden, but, avoid them.

Adverb Suggested alternative
clearly Drop it. If the sentence feels barren without it, maybe it's not that clear and you should rephrase.
completely Whatever it did, it did it. You only need to specify if it was incomplete.
interestingly Leave it to your reader to decide if they're interested

Avoid vague adverbs:

Adjective Style Guide
Order of Adjectives
Adjectives should occur be written in the following order:

1.  **Quantity:** many, seventeen, a few
2.  **Opinion:** interesting, good, gorgeous
3.  **Size:** big, narrow, tall
4.  **Quality:** broken, uncut, smooth
5.  **Shape:** square, rotund, triangular
6.  **Age:** 12-year-old, young, elderly
7.  **Color:** cerulean, green, pink
8.  **Origin:** English, Roman, Argentinian
9.  **Material:** Wood, aluminium, concrete
10. **Type:** U-shaped, professional, engineer's
11. **Purpose:** cleaning, camping, baking
-   If you've got something that might be a reduplicative _(hocus-pocus, mama)_, it might be
    worth changing the order to give the noun phrase a better meter.  The chief example of
    this is the _big bad_ wolf.
-   Modifiers to an adjective should directly precede them in the phrase.  This is most
    important for inserting a negation - that is, making sure to write, "there were several
    not calm individuals gathered at the gates." /(Note "not calm" would more properly be
    "excited," or a more appropriate positive adjective, but "not calm" is more suited for
    the piece.  This demonstrates that even when you violate some rules to achieve the
    proper voice and tone, you don't suddenly throw out the others.)
-   "It was cold, bleak, biting weather," in _A Christmas Carol_ by Charles Dickens
-   "He's an extraordinary looking man," in _The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_ by
    Robert Louis Stevenson
-   "And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor," in _The Raven_ by
    Edgar Allan Poe
Coming soon - just as soon as we have a portfolio!
Adjective Specifications
| Adjective | Meaning                                                             |
| formal    | An apology given with the relevant authority of the apologizer.     |
| sincere   | An apology issued from the individual person who is the apologizer. |
| courteous | An apology issued as a social habit.                                |
Describing a Person
| Identity                                    | Phrasing        |
| Member of a racially marginalized ethnicity | person of color |
Special Words Style Guide

Reduplicatives are words like mama, mish-mash, or bang-bang

Rules of Writing Titles, Names, and Proper Terms

Rules of Writing Numbers and Mathematics

Rules of Abbreviations and Jargon

Rules of Quotations and Dialog

Rules of Phrases and Sentence Construction

Phrasing Style Guide
Avoidable Cliches

Rules of Colors and Sensory Descriptions

Rules for Words


centuries a period of time of 200 or more years
Centuries a period of time spanning multiple Centuries

bad: “silver compounds have been used in film for Centuries.” good: “the use of silver compounds in film has spanned Centuries”

The implication here is the 18th Century is a proper noun, going against more contemporary conventions, but, I agree with the reasoning that brought me to it, so I'm going to adhere to it.

(Credit to for inspiring this rule.

Structuring Text

Structuring a Sentence

Structuring a List

Structuring a Paragraph

Structuring a Piece

Sections, chapters, parts? How to use what?

Guidelines for Determining Structure

This section contains guidelines for determining how you should structure a piece of writing, for example a short list of software dependencies the reader will need to install.


Tone is that variable element of writing which conveys the piece's attitude and intention. Word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, layout, and other attributes all factor into defining a pieces tone.

I find it most helpful to define a piece's tone with adjectives, such as formal, colloquial, or emotional. When creating a piece, I record these as properties, sorted from highest to lowest importance. That is, when two tone adjectives have contradicting rules, the one written first is the one whose rules are followed.



Writing for Content Type

Fiction Writing


Marketing Writing

High-End Hotel Description Writing

The standard tone is sophisticated, natural, and authentic.

Online Landing Page For Service
Sales Letter

Technical Writing

Guide for Writing Instructions
Guide for Writing Training Procedures
Literate Programming

Rules of Publishing


Formatting by Content Type

Licensing ::

Writing Training and Exercises

About this Section

This section (is in early development and) contains instructions on training staff in how to write.

Writing Flow Training

This training (is in early development and) will teach you how to write a piece, from assignment to submission.


This training assumes you have completed the following trainings


This section (is in early development and) contains the individual lessons for this training.

Writing Flow, Lesson One: The Assignment

This lesson (is in early development and) will teach you about assignments, the unit of work for the writing necessary to accomplish an objective. Some examples of assignments are:

**_Assignment properties_** are standardized pieces of information about an assignment.
Assignment properties include things like the piece's length requirements and its tone.
Assignment properties are located in three places, and are _inherited_ on-top of each other
in this order:

-   First, the assignment should have whatever properties are in the Assignment Template.
-   Second, the assignment should have whatever properties are recommended by the
    appropriate style guide.
-   Finally, the assignment may include its own properties.

Here's an example of what an assignment's properties might look like:

:minimum-length: 700
:recommended-length: 900
:max-length: 1000
:tone: sophisticated terse

Assignment Research Training

This section (is in early development and) will teach you how to conduct research for a writing assignment.

High-End Hotel Description Writing Training

This training (is in early development and) will teach you how to write descriptions for high-end hotels.


This training assumes you have completed the following trainings: -Writing Flow Training

High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson One: Interpretting the Assignment

This lesson (is in early development and) will teach you how to interpret an assignment.

Assignments are kept in the Writing Assignments lesson's assignment is specifically. You may notice the assignment is brief: most assignments will include relatively few guidelines, and will rely on your training and descretion as a writer.

High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson Two: Tone and Style

The tone for this piece should be sophisticated while remaining natural and authentic. (Remember to check the section for guidance on these terms.)

The reader should be addressed in second-person plural, to connect them to the hotel and “travel” through the article. While it's appropriate to emphasize the luxury of a 5-star hotel, do not over-sell a 3-star hotel.

The following should be applied over your assignment specification:

:tone: sophisticated natural authentic :perspective: third
:address: second-person plural
High-End Hotel Description Writing, Lesson Three: Structure

Expert opinion (15 words exactly), in the form of a quote, given in the hotel brief. E.g. Tom Gill, London: “A contemporary hotel which provides tranquillity right in the heart of London's historical city centre.”

We love (80 words) in a list form

This highlights why the expert has chosen this offer, explaining what they loved about the hotel and the destination. There should be 4 or 5 ‘We Love’ points which are communicated in the hotel brief.

Don’t hesitate to add personal touches to the points, e.g. complimentary breakfasts: give examples of what you can eat, where you can eat it.

High-End Hotel Description Writing, Advanced Lesson: Tom's Musings

Think of some USPs (unique selling points) that help the hotel stand out. Maybe it's close to the beach or has a spa facility, the most important thing is drawing in the reader immediately. Don’t forget to mention the location of the establishment, the number of stars, the surrounding areas and the style/architecture of the place.

Example: “In Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhône Delta meet, one can experience traditional atmosphere and spectacular surroundings. The 5-star hotel, Les Arnelles, is a charming building defined by a harmonious relationship with the great outdoors, both inside and out. Its balance of contemporary and natural aesthetics firmly roots the hotel as the standout place to stay.”

High-End Hotel Description Writing, Advanced Lesson: Room Descriptions

For each room, write a title with the name of the room included and the size in brackets. Don’t hesitate to reiterate the type of person who could benefit from this room (family, couple). Describe the benefits of the room: the decoration, the surrounding area, etc.

Mention facilities (complimentary or optional), size, view, style, who can stay (no. of adults/children, babies allowed or not).

Example: Beach Front Villas (95 m²): “Situated directly on the beach, these villas are ideal for a trip with the whole family; up to two adults and two children can comfortably stay here. You also have direct access to the beach and swimming pool; putting paradise outside your hotel door.”

Writing Training

Creative Writing Training
Writing Prompts
You have the opportunity to take someone you dislike - fictional or real - and send then
anyplace you choose - real, on earth.  You have now intercepted a post card from this person
sent back to their associates.  What does it say?
Continue this sentence:  "I know I'm only 20 months old, but I don't think it's right that
my parents..."
Continue this sentence: "When I received the letter, I almost threw it away.  It looked
like a scam.  When I opened it, it definitely looked like a scam.  No one just gives this
sort of thing away.  But here I am, watching the delivery crew drop off a brand new..."
-   [ ] Think of three fictional characters and write them down:


-   In that order, describe each - in a complimentary manner - by comparing them to the
    following condiment:
    -   Ketchup
    -   Mayonnaise
    -   Peanut Sauce
Training exercises
Word Substitution and Sentence Reconstruction Training Exercises
-   [ ] Go to Wikipedia and [find a random article](
-   [ ] Write 150 words about the topic.  Choose your own writing type and tone.
-   [ ] In your piece, use the table below to replace characters.  For each row in the
    column, go to whatever character position is suggested, and replace it with the
    suggested character.  Rewrite the text to make sense around the character, replacing
    words or sentences as needed, while keeping the document truthful to the Wikipedia
    article on which it is based - and keeping the characters in the right position!

| 12       | e         |
| 88       | p         |
| 156      | i         |
| 287      | o         |
Like "Write Around Character Replacements", but with the Konami Code.
Comparative Writing Training Exercises
Describe a snake by writing the ways in which it is unlike a slinky
and scarf, but you may not directly mention the snake, slinkies, or