Achieving good writing is easier than trying to line up ducks on a snowy, winter day. And here in Colorado, winter extends into spring!
By Shelley Widhalm
I started reading an article about a topic where I had the opposite opinion of the writer, and after slogging through the first paragraph, I figured I’d get the message in the second paragraph.
Quite frankly, I wanted to learn something and maybe even change my opinion or alter it in some way, since I try to be open-minded.
Stopping in the Middle
I skimmed to the halfway point, then stopped reading, because the writer never got to the point. I’m busy, even stuck indoors during the stay-at-home executive order for the state of Colorado (and other states). I just don’t have the patience for poorly written content—and I’m not alone.
In our fast-paced, fake news, article- and blog-heavy society, we don’t spend the time reading as if studying for a final or needing to absorb the content. It’s click and move on.
Achieving Good Writing
Good writing needs to get to the point right away (this excludes fiction and poetry that’s more about atmosphere and storytelling with the time and space to build plot, character and description). It needs to make apparent the theme or main topic of the subject, covering what you want to say in one to three sentences.
Good writing has a lead in, just like a news article, with a short story or a compelling detail that peaks interest. The reader wants to learn more and reads the second paragraph, or in journalism speak, the graf.
Good writing also has structure, moving from one point to the next with enough details supporting each point but not overly describing or going off on a tangent, or off topic—this loses the reader.
And good writing has transitions, so that paragraphs flow from one to the next.
Losing Bad Writing
The article that annoyed me is lost. I won’t find it again, nor did I get the writer’s intended message, because I clicked and moved on. Good writing that flows moves the writer from point to point, keeping the reader within the text. The reader stays until the end. Start to finish, that’s what you want in article absorption.
Note: I provide editing, writing and ghostwriting services and can help you perfect your project from an article or blog series to a short story or novel. I also offer consultations on writing and editing through #ShellsInk at shellsinkservices.com.