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Why am I calling this post Writing 101?
I am about to tell you, but first I want to add my favorite quote by Mark Twain, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” Working as a freelance writer, Twain’s quote speaks to me as no other quote does.
Think about what the quote says. It tells me that I need to get the words down, then edit later to make the copy (Matter for printing, exclusive of graphics) that I post, ghostwrite, or article I write. I also follow three rules when I edit,
- Is it cohesive
- Is it coherent
- Is it readable
This may sound simplistic, but try writing this way. You will find that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Readable copy is something written that will engage the reader, not just something to kill time, but truly engage the reader.
How do you engage the reader?
You engage the reader by delivering on the promise of the headline and subtitle. There must be relevant information that engages and informs the read about what the headline says if you are writing and article, and the premise of a book is to deliver according to the title.
If you’re writing an article or blog post, it should be the best work you can do. Any information you offer to your reader is something they have searched for, give it to them from an objective standpoint unless there is a reason to offer an opinion, like a review. When writing a product review, you have to give both the pros and cons. If doing a book review there are other standards, never give the story away, but do give an honest objective review of the style, story, and characters.
I am asked, “How do you prepare for writing?” This has been my answer.
- Be prepared
- Get the words down
- Have someone you trust read it and offer suggestions
- Edit it, or have an editor do it
- Always strive to improve your writing
- Never settle for less than your best
- How to create readable content (rjmedak.wordpress.com)
- Do you have a Writing Buddy and do you need one? (writersonthemove.com)
- How to Solve the Five Challenges Freelance Writers Face When They Guest Post (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)
If writing were only as easy as many people think it is. This post is about Tone.
What is Tone in writing?
You will probably get as many different answers as the number of writers you ask.
Tone in writing changes with the writing.
- Tone can be conversational, meaning as though you are talking to a friend or loved one.
- Tone can be informative.
- Tone can be educational.
- Tone can be a narrative.
Your choice of tone depends on what you wish to convey as you work on a specific project, just as style and word choice will alter if you are writing a report opposed to a story.
Tone becomes more about attitude and experience when writing for an audience. If you attend church, is your attitude the same in church as it is outside of church? I think not.
In the normal usage of language most people use contractions, (i.e. can’t, isn’t…etc.), meaning less formal language. Dialogue in stories should reflect the language used by the characters. In a period piece, the language might be more formal.
Tone also applies to the audience you’re writing for. You would not use the same tone for clergy as you would business writing.
There are many types of tone. I have listed some above but there are also humorous, envious, pessimistic, and optimistic. It is up to the writer to choice tone and the audience they are writing for. The audience does play a part in the tone chosen by the writer.
The main thing a writer needs to do is check their ego at the door and write more for themselves.
If you don’t write for yourself first, then whom are you writing for? I mean, if you enjoy science fiction, would you write a romance novel. This is writing for yourself is about, writing what you like. If your writing is well conceived; and well written your audience will find you.
Think about what you write, and why you’re writing it.
Part 5 will be about Tense.