Writing Good

When you want to write well, there are the obvious elements that should be put into your article, novel, blog, etc. Correct grammar, proper spelling, punctuation; all that good stuff learned in grade school.

However, a key to writing well in a class like “journalism’ is to capture the reader’s attention. As a writer you want to reel them in to reading your article, and once you have them, keep them reading.

A proper start to any writing is a hook. This could be a catchy title, a summary that teases the reader, even the pesky phrases on external sites known as “clickbait” are successful. These hooks stir curiosity and get a reader to turn a page, or in this more technologically advanced generation, click a link.

Now, your reader has their eyes on your page. Congratulations, the easiest part is over, now you have to keep their attention. Keep it short. People are insanely busy, and with mediums like video and audio taking attention away from written word mediums. They do not want to read something that will take away too much of their time.

As an aspiring screenwriter I often use the scenario of elevator pitches. It basically states that in the time it takes for an elevator to reach the lobby floor, I have to sell my script or product and make it memorable for my investor. So in that time I have grabbed their attention, told my story, and told it in a way that keeps it fresh in their mind, all without taking any extra time from their day.

If you are going to write this way you have to do your research. You have to know every little detail, all the ins and outs, all of aspects of the timeline just to write a story that takes roughly three to five minutes to read. Hit all the high points, tell the complete story, make it feel personal to the reader, and avoid filler words (keep thesaurus.com handy).

This way your reader has read your story completely and gotten the complete information, all while remembering your story.

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