Many writers ignore the power of asking simple questions as they plan their writing.

Here are a few to get you started: “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?”

Your reader is asking those questions as he reads your letter, report, proposal, or email. If you don’t answer them for him, he’ll get distracted and bored and toss your proposal in the trash after a couple of paragraphs.

And here’s the best question of all: “So what?”

After you write each sentence, think about the idea in the sentence, and ask yourself “So what?”

The answer is always a much more compelling idea.