Ellen Daly reports:
"Picture in your mind the kind of person you would like to read and understand your work. Now think about the people you know, and pick someone who fits your target reader profile. Don’t pick someone who already 'gets' your ideas; pick someone who would potentially be interested but would need convincing...Once you’ve chosen someone, write your blog post/essay/book chapter as if it were a letter to that person. Start with 'Dear X,' and write the letter you would write if you were trying to explain the topic of your writing to that person. You’ll find that you naturally take more care to connect the dots when you have your reader in mind as a real person. Once the draft is written, you can remove the opening and closing of the letter, and you’ll be left with a piece of writing that has been shaped by an awareness of the person on the other end...Once you’ve chosen a topic to write about, imagine that you were going to interview yourself on that topic. What questions would you ask yourself? Write them down — as many as you can think of. Then go back and answer the questions, one at a time. Write a sentence or a paragraph in response to each question. When you’re done, you can go back and remove the questions and connect your paragraphs together. If you’re someone who thinks better out loud, you can also use this technique with a collaborator — a friend, colleague, or editor/writing coach. Have him or her ask you the questions, and record your answers. You can transcribe the audio to get the raw material for your draft, which you can then edit into written form...[I]t’s important that we don’t use our own level of interest and excitement as an indicator of what will be interesting and exciting to our readers. If we want to connect the dots and take readers with us, we will probably need to venture back into territory we’ve already traversed. If something seems boring to you, it may be an indicator that it’s one of those critical ideas that you’ve come to take for granted but your readers may not."
Leave a Reply.
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.