I am at the tail of my second year researching and writing about a true crime event and hoping for a 2014 publication. I will say as most other writers would agree, it’s very tedious and yet thoughtfully rewarding when you research and wrap your arms around a project you know you’re going to accomplish. All of the forethought from the onset, however, needs to be put into an outline which can be changed accordingly–without this outline, a poorly organized project will set itself before your eyes and cause unnecessary angst.
Not everybody can write a story, but everyone has a story to tell. The best advice foremost I could give if you are determined to achieve your goal as a writer is to write, write, write.
Practice using self-discipline every single day to ensure you are perfecting your writing skills. I think the most important elements involved with being a good writer is to write persistently, proofread continuously, and edit necessarily.
Sometimes we might start with a title and work the content around it, into it, or under it. Whatever title we choose, however, we want to make sure the appropriate words are capitalized. If we’re leaning towards a type of style and choose not to have any words capitalized, then make sure they are all in lower case. Most importantly, make sure there are no misspelled words. Seeing a typo is a turn-off to some effective and experienced writers. Sometimes one an be overlooked, but if there are more than two in a title, for example, the reader might decide to move on to the next article. Choosing a title is another subject because sometimes that takes a lot of thought and time, and sometimes it’s pretty straightforward. If you want to spell-check the language in the title, type it in a document and run spell-check…BUT read it too!
THE LANGUAGE CONTENT
Obviously, with some writing such as poetry, before beginning to display your content, you don’t necessarily need a writing plan such as an outline. For certain types of content, however, an outline of what you want to share or show might be considered. Then each part is nicely pulled together and framed well.
Those of us who write all the time know that we spend a lot of time researching the topic, proofreading the material and then editing a paragraph or two. Sometimes we might choose to rewrite the whole paragraph (egads!). If you are a perfectionist and meticulous with the effects of language, like I am most of the time, you probably wonder if those character traits are a curse. But at the end of the day, there’s a benefit attached to those traits.
When writing journalistic pieces, follow the simple steps below to start your outline:
- List the highlighted information that answers the “who, what, where, when, how and why”
- Just like you have the best part of the cake on top (the icing!), display content of your main subject in a similar fashion–put the best part at the beginning and slowly decrease the level of information to the end of the piece–like 1, 2, 3, with 3 being the bottom layer of a cake.
When you have reached your concluding paragraph, you don’t necessarily need to say, “In conclusion…” because that’s going to be obvious to the reader. It’s like a wrap it up paragraph summarizing the overall benefit of the article.
Even though you spell-check the main body of your article, proofread it or even read it out loud to ensure it is clear and concise and that you’ve made your point. You want it to be error free–no typo’s. When readers see a typo, they wonder if you took the time to proofread it. If you take the time to proofread or edit your material, that will become obvious to the reader and also appreciated. If you have reader appreciation, they will want to return to your content because they enjoyed it, liked the information or even placed a value on your writing style.
I think everyone who writes is aware of the value of good useful images to project their written material. And adding value to an image by placing language with it makes it even better. There are several sites that provide absolutely free images. My all time favorite site is listed in the link below. When you visit the site, registration if free, and you simply click on “free photos” and begin your search to your heart’s content. It’s a wonderful place to find images that are suitable to your written piece especially if you’re an on-line writer. On some other “free” image sites, make sure you read the privacy language. Some of these sites only require you give credit when credit is due. Make sure you read license agreements to ensure you have permission to borrow the image.
I love reading recipe articles that have step by step instructions accompanied by images which build upon each other until you see that fabulous finished cooked product!