When you’ve spent time organizing, researching, writing, editing, and rewriting your work, it’s easy to slip into the tone of you being the expert on your book’s subject matter. In fact, you probably are! But mastering that authoritative voice without your writing becoming overbearing on your audience can be difficult – especially for first-time authors.
If your writing is coming across as rude or bossy or condescending, this is probably not the right type of tone for your piece. It’s important to master the authoritative tone without coming across as any of these.
An authoritative tone will come across as the author being confident in their knowledge about that subject. Knowledgeable, but not pompous. Informational, but not condescending. Direct, but not bossy or rude.
How can you master this authoritative tone in your own writing? Here are some of our top tips.
Utilize proper word choice. Because many words can have double meanings or definitions that may have different connotations, it’s imperative for experts to choose their words carefully in order to convey their expertise and not detract from their intended meaning.
Avoid using qualifiers in your writing. Qualifiers such as may, seldom, probably, hardly, likely, and frequently can convey some doubt in your own writing. While they **may** serve a purpose, they **may** also convey uncertainty in your work. (See what we did there? The **may** certainly detracts, right?)
Eliminate any wordiness or extraneous “non-information.” Granted, words can help paint the scene you’re demonstrating for your readers, but too many words, or too much “fluff,” in your piece can detract from your authority.
Read other works like your own. Take note of how the author uses their word choice and the tone that their writing conveys. Use any takeaways to polish your own work.
Practice writing in this authoritative tone and ask your peer editors to review specifically for this. Coming off as an expert in your field, but not pompous, is key to mastering this tone.
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