How to improve your writing tips
1) CONTENTS. Obviously I can’t write if I don’t have at least a little something in mind. But sometimes I start by following the thread of an intuition: a bit like going up the trail of a roast perfume, hoping to find it, the roast. On the other hand, I know that if I don’t start right away, intuition can quickly disappear.
Other times I seem to have very clear ideas but, as I develop the text, I find that it is not. Or I notice that I am missing information, or (if I am working for a client) that those that have been transmitted to me are contradictory or not all of good quality. On the other hand, if I procrastinate waiting for everything to fall into place I will never finish.
Remedies. I proceed empirically, for trial and error. It means that I will also write parts that I will have to throw away or rewrite. And it will take at least twice as long and I will do much more effort. If I have clear ideas but I lack information, things do not go differently: as I understand what I need to know and get it from me, I’ll throw away pieces of text.
This is true even if it is a fictional text, with the complication that to the information must be added plausible and coherent rules of context (in a post-atomic world does it always rain? Or is water more precious than gold?). If a rule changes in the course of work, you have to rewrite.
2) OBJECTIVES. Certainly: if one writes knows, more or less, what the aim of the text is. But what happens if the objectives are more than one or if they are inconsistent (also with professional writing, when the client’s requests are less focused than they should)?
Remedies: I choose the most important goal and pursue that, trying not to go against the others. For example: if the goals given are “entertain” and “motivate for action”, the second is to decide on the success of the text, and the challenge is to motivate action with a decently brilliant text.
3) and 4) RECIPIENTS, RHYTHM AND STYLE. In reality, and especially if you write for the web, any text can end up under anyone’s eyes. It is another reason to be as clear and simple as possible, consistent with the subject. But it also makes sense to make a different choice: segment the public even through the complexity of the text, or retain a specific audience through a particular stylistic and expressive figure.
There is however a decision to be made, otherwise there is a hand with a text that has no form or character and cannot speak either to many or to a few.
Remedies. Decide based on the goal. For example: if it is a question of motivating the action, who should be motivated? The larger the audience, the simpler the writing must be, the more immediate the emotional accent must be.
5) MEASURE. It happens to have to give a lot of information in a few lines. Or, on the contrary, having to dilute few contents in a text that must be, for example for layout reasons, longer than necessary. If I just add or remove words, the result will be unclear in the first case and not very interesting in the second.
Remedies. I have to intervene at the level of the project and the structure of the text. For example (first case) I browse around here for a list of points, or for a system of keywords with very brief explanations. Or for syncopated writing. And then I write and cut, several times, until I’m fit.
In the second case, I see if I can preface an introduction, or if I can integrate with some content (other information, examples, insights). I choose a more relaxed writing but I am careful not to give in to the temptation of redundancy just to gain an extra line. Even when I add, I force myself to cut something. I always read again, however, and not once. If I can, the next day, If I can’t, at least after I have peeled my eyes off the screen and walked around the room.