27 January 2022

Writings Styles: They're like fingerprints (or possibly another part of the human anatomy)

 *Ed. note: I originally published this at my Substack & then our erstwhile, semi-esteemed Editor Emeritus, Da Millsaps, made a very good point that this particular piece was very much in the TPC Wheelhouse & I totally agreed. So, here it is. As always, thx for reading. - MBM

By: MB McCart

I’ve always kind of been a teacher by heart, so it’s nice that I kind of finally found myself, maybe, by my mid 40s (JK — I still have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up). 

But no, seriously, those of us who either can’t (or are too lazy) to do — can teach. And that’s a good thing. 


I’ve had a few writing proteges over the years.

My most recent one has really turned into a great writer. She’s humble about it, though (her name’s Kayla, btw). 

I used to always give her a hard time about saying the same word more than once in a write-up. 

Finally, about a year or so after working w/ her (and as some of you know, she was doing feature pieces at TPC at the time), she was like — “you pretty much do that in every major piece you write!” 

What could I say? Guilty as charged, Ma’am. 


I call it the “AME Preacher Man Style.” 

You repeat those key words, in a particular type of cadence, when possible. As the data shows - especially w/ adult learners or readers - repetition is key; so, when wanting to make a cogent point, hitting on a key word multiple times can be an effective tool. However, you don’t want to get carried away w/ it. Keep it honest & clean. Don’t get carried away… 


Got a few cool pieces coming up, and don’t forget about TPC, either. That Brunswick Stew piece over at the ole site might be on track to become one of the most read ones in our history & that makes me so very happy! 

Hope all is well w/ you & yours,