There are just so many things to consider when you are writing something, be it anything. It could be a:
- Blog post or article
- School paper
- Business report
- Etc etc
There are so many, many questions to consider when writing. Some of them are useful. Some of them are not. Some of them don’t improve your writing one bit.
And now we arrive at a question. It is: “When writing, what useful questions should we consider?”
The following things.
Consider the following things when writing something.
- What is the style of the piece you are writing? Is it factual and formal? Or edgy and quirky? Is it quite informal or is it very formal? Your writing style matters here. If you are writing a school essay, then it would be totally out of character to write it using slang words, an informal tone and the like. On the other hand, if you are writing a letter to your friends, adopting a formal style would not be the best decision. In simpler words: don’t do it.
TIP: If you are looking to destroy the credibility of your piece, then use an out of character style for your piece. E.g. Are you a professional businessman? Then write in sloppy grammar, shoddy sentence structure and show your fun personality. Writing an informal blog post? Use technical jargon. Readers will be impressed. 🙄
- Is the presentation good enough? I don’t know why so many people neglect presentation, but the problem is common. Obviously, presentation in writing means the formatting of the piece. Are you send a handwritten essay to your teacher? Then see whether your handwriting is good enough or not. If you are writing a business report, then check the formatting in Microsoft Word. Is it easy to read? Legible? Pleasing? Warning: don’t ever use fancy fonts. They just don’t work.
- What is its purpose? Before starting to write anything, you must know about its purpose. Is it written to educate? Inform? Entertain and make them laugh? Choose appropriately, and see whether your piece fulfils its purpose. If it does, you can congratulate yourself. If it doesn’t… well you know you have some work to do.
- Who is the reader? I don’t mean that you should have one and only one reader, but it’s recommended to choose one ideal reader and then find out more about him/her. What does he/she like? What does he/she dislike? Why would he/she read your work? Note down all your reasons, and write your piece according to the answers found. I guarantee, it will make the task easier.
- Does it have a proper structure? Structure is important. Very important. You can get away with not using structure in some situations, but for most writing, the takeaway message is this: if it doesn’t have a structure, it sucks. Have you put the cart before the horse? Are your thoughts and words all jumbled and not flowing smoothly? Check. Got the results? Good. Adjust accordingly.
- Is it well written? The mechanics and nuts-bolts of writing matter. What do I mean by the nuts and bolts of writing? Grammar. Sentence structure and composition. Spelling and punctuation. For this, you have to edit and proofread. The thing here is that these things do matter, but how much they matter, that depends on your genre. For example, full old school grammar doesn’t matter much to me as I’m writing this. Why? Because I’m writing a blog post, and in blog posts you can get away (and in fact it is recommended) that you break some stodgy rules of grammar. Why? It helps readability. Therefore, do not break any rules of grammar unless you know precisely why you are breaking them (for what reason).
- Will it make an effect? This is arguably the most important. Will your writing have an impact? If you are writing a novel, will it make an effect on the editor so that he/she will think that this is good? If you are writing a blog post, will it spread virally? Tough questions, and you can’t really know the answers. Just try and write and test. (By the way, if you’re looking to spread this article virally, you’re welcome. ;-))
So these are the seven questions to consider when you are next writing something in whatever genre. While I can’t guarantee that they will improve your writing, I can say that if you apply on them, if you use them, you most likely will see a result. When you do get one, don’t forget to share it with us. 🙂
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