By Michael – KDPR Intern Wiz Kid
Everyone has picked up a pen or pencil in their life. However, some people have the ability to write brilliant prose, which the world marvels at. Others, meanwhile, write sentences we have read, followed by thoughts of “there’s x amount of minutes I’ll never get back in my life”.
So today, Inspired by PR Daily’s 10 tricks of the web writing and marketing trade, I decided to have a go at my own, personal list of writing tips.
While I do not claim to be a writing expert, I feel as though I have a reasonable writing background, having completed a Bachelor of Journalism followed by numerous stints at Media outlets and media-related organisations. So here’s my top five writing tips:
- Be clear and concise. While I am not proposing all sentences should be as simple as “the cat sat on the mat”, there is nothing worse than having to re-read a sentence two or more times in order to fully understand what the author is trying to say. Make it readable!
- Have a clear idea of what you want to write before you start writing. No one wants to read something that goes from point A to Point G, back to Point C, back to Point B… Err, I think you get my drift.
- Do not be afraid to re-write your text. As a journalist, I have often sat at a desk wondering what angle I can think of for a story. The best way for me personally to find a suitable angle is to write down as many intros as I can think of with different angles. Even if I do not end up using one of the ideas I write down, I can almost certainly guarantee the angle I end up using has been derived from my miniature brainstorming session.
- Angles. Writing, and journalism in particular, is all about angles. Of course, I would be foolhardy not to acknowledge certain things need to be as straightforward as possible. However, where possible, think of the person who is going to be reading your text (or at least who you want to be reading it) and what they would find relevant and interesting about the story.
- Grammar and punctuation. Most, if not all journalists, are pretty good with grammar and punctuation. You pretty much have to be in order to complete your degree as a lot of universities have a five percent penalty for each spelling or grammar mistake in assignments and stories.
Nonetheless, I firmly believe everyone should make an attempt to write the best they can and as a journalist who has a lot of friends who do a trade to make a living, I constantly stumble through sentences, trying to work out exactly what they are saying.
Theirs nothing worse then reeding a sentence like this you now wat I mean and now its getting realy annoying for you to reed.
Yeah, no. Punctuation and grammar goes a long way to making an idea good. If I can’t read what you’re trying to say, why am I going to bother?
So , there are my top five tips. Next time you are writing, try to make sure your text is as clear and concise for the person who’s going to be reading it so they can understand. While making it interesting, of course.