Early on we learned how to “write” our letters, although it was really more like drawing, wasn’t it?
Then we learned to write our name, and soon we moved on to sentences. Later we learned about syntax and flow. We were given the basic formula for a five-paragraph theme. Some of us took to it right away, and others didn’t see the point. But whether you consider yourself a good writer or not, we all know what we like when we read it.
So what it is that makes good writing… good? Here are a few simple tips.
Decide what details are important, and what can be left out.
Every good writer knows, you shouldn’t let the details ruin a good story. That being said, knowing which details to leave in can make all the difference on whether your reader will stick with you.
I used to prefer writing :60 second scripts but have since found that whenever I am forced to condense the script to :30 seconds, it always results in something better. When you are limited on the amount of words you can use, you are forced to find the best and most powerful words to convey your message. Brevity is key. And with today’s short attention spans, it is even more so. (This is a great exercise for verbal communication as well!)
Get their attention.
Always start with something that is either completely outrageous, funny or relatable to the audience. Because we are inundated with messages and content all day long, you need a way to break through all the other distractions taking up space in their minds.
It’s also important to convey that you understand your audience and are speaking directly to them. People today want to be more than a demographic, and generalized messaging simply won’t fly. It’s okay if what you write doesn’t engage everyone, as long as it engages the right someones.
Pay attention to flow.
Read what you have written aloud. Is it clunky? Do your sentences seem to go on and on, forcing you to take a breath in the middle? Or do they seem short and abrupt? Good writing will flow like a beautiful piece of music. Be aware of the rhythm.
Start with these few simple tips and see what a difference it can make in your writing. You may find that it’s actually fun and discover a talent that was in you all along!