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Ten mistakes to avoid when writing a listicle

Wednesday March 20th, 2019 in Writing | No Comments »

Listicles are good for readers because they increase the white space on the page.

Listicles are good for writers because you don’t have to think.

Despite their ease of production, digestion and excretion, there are some common mistakes people make when writing a listicle. Read on to learn these two things:

1. What the ten listicle mistakes to avoid are.

2. A little bit more information about each mistake under its heading.

ONE: Promising too many items in the title

It’s easy enough to say you’re going to list 17 things to do with your nipples, but you have to be able to follow through. If items 14 to 17 vary only in the colour of the pegs, you have failed.

TWO: Counting wrong

Don’t say there will be six reasons and then only list four. Readers hate reading and will probably rejoice if the list ends early, but for the sake of professionalism get your numbering right.

THREE: Padding the list with things that should be common sense

Sometimes I feel swamped with tasks and make a list for myself, only to find that I actually have just three things I really need to do and one of them is ‘Calm down you’re actually not that busy and important’.

So I get it. A shorter than expected list can be sad. Even so, do not be tempted to add unnecessary things to the list just to make it longer. A lot of people are writing ‘One thing’ articles now, and that’s fine.

FOUR: Getting your nouns confused

I’ve lost track of the times I’ve started reading a listicle titled ‘Here are the Eight Worst New Years Resolutions’, only to find that half the items are actually Toileting Tips. Keep those two lists separate.

FIVE: Get rid of toxic stuff

Be they in the form of relatives or lead paint, you don’t need these in your life. There are numbers you can call, and you should.

FIVE: Writing your list in Wingdings

It’s a fun font, but hardly anyone can read it.

SIX: Writing your list in Wingdings 2

The companion to Wingdings, Wingdings 2 is actually no easier for people to read.

SEVEN: Writing your listicle in Wingdings 3

I think you see what I’m doing here.

Coming Next Week: The one thing you need to know about tassels

Ideas for netball novels

Tuesday September 18th, 2018 in Netball, Sport, Writing | No Comments »

There are a number of middle-grade books about netball including the Netball Gems series and Sporty Kids: Netball!

And yet, it seems that in other genres, netball has been missing from our literary works. To begin to rectify this, I’ve drawn up a list of netball fiction ideas. I’m happy for anyone to take one of these ideas and run with it (as long as you dispose of it before your landed foot hits the ground again.)

Women wearing netball uniforms jostling. Text Murder on the Transverse line and P Tangey.Crime fiction

Murder on the Transverse Line

A Goal Attack with an ankle injury begins to investigate crime after a member of the opposition is found dead in the netball balls bag.


Shirtless man facing away from camera, woman holding netball in goal keeper bib. Text Penelope Tangey, The KeeperRomance

The Keeper

Freya isn’t married and starts a mixed-netball team with her long-term boyfriend.  Freya thinks she loves him, but he plays Goal Attack and insists on taking free passes in the Centre third. Is he really a keeper after all?


Rusty Netball ring. Text: P.A. Tangey above and Score below.Literary Fiction


A middle-aged man cheats on his wife with her entire netball team and thinks about dead leaves and rust.


Netball ring from below, oranges on a plate, man in paddock chewing grass. Text Penny Tangey Oranges actually are the only fruit

Rural Romance

Oranges actually are the only fruit

A city lawyer returns to the country town of Balanganan after her parents die. She tries to run the family citrus farm, which is very difficult actually. She joins a netball team to unwind, but do they really want her ball skills or just her free oranges?

Picture of small dog in Centre netball bib jacketClassic Children’s Literature

Five Refuse to Forfeit

The Famous Five are badly let down by their Dorset cousins and are left without a full team for the semis. Will the umpire notice that Timmy is a dog and Anne is pregnant?

P is for Phonetic: An English Spelling is Phucked Alfabet

Saturday July 22nd, 2017 in Writing | No Comments »

File:Greek cyrillic latin.png

I’m not one of the world’s great spellers. I blame English.

Below I’ve expressed my frustration (with some swears apologies). If illustrated this could be a lovely baby board book or frieze for a child’s room.


A is for Art. Apparently. Not R, because that would be easy. Rseholes.


There are two Bs in bomb. For no good reason. Bumb.


There are no Cs in sea, or see. There’s one in c***s though.


There’s a D in sandwich. Stick it up your andus.


E is for excrement. Not X because it’s s**t.


There are two Fs in giraffe. FFS.


G is for gonerreah, making it the most sensible letter in the word.


H is for hours of my life wasted trying to spell hierarchy.


There’s no I in eye. I give in.


There’s a J in marijuana. No wonder people stick to heroin.


Lolly has three Ls, lily has two.

I want to scream, how about you?


M is for mnemonic, and you’ll need one to remember how to spell it.


N is knot for knife. Who new.


There’s two Os in colonel, but none in kernel. How’s your colon feeling?


P is for pterodactyl. What ptwat decided that?


Q is for queue. Four extra vowels, why? Queueunts.


R is the second letter in are. RUOK? No. I’m aropeable.


There’s an S is in aisle and isle. Homonyms with no s sound. I’lls be buggered.


There’s a T in listen, but you can’t hear it. I shi you no.


U is the last letter in you. nf***ingbelievableu.


V is for vagina. I have no problem with that.


W is for write. Rankers.


There’s an X in box but not blocks. Bollox.


There’s a Y in why but not where you’d think. It’s ysh**t.


Z is not for xylophone. F*** off! Zactly.