But with that enthusiasm sometimes comes a lack of focus. Newer writers tend to want to cover everything, in every piece they write. So today I’m going to give you some hints to help you stay on track.
The ability to keep focused on your subject matter is important whether you write fiction or non-fiction. But this column will deal with short writing—specifically with articles. In the next few weeks we’ll tackle other forms of writing.
It's critical to keep your reader engaged when you’re writing an article. Today’s readers have shorter attention spans than ever before and very few will tolerate rabbit trails to nowhere. Here are some specific ways to keep your articles on track.
- Pinpoint Focus – make your subject matter as specific as possible. Don’t just write about babysitting, that’s way too broad a subject. Pick a slant, like babysitting certification for teenagers.
- Theme Sentence – I always have a single sentence that sums up the point of my article. If I can’t say it in one sentence, I know I haven't narrowed my topic sufficiently. I write that sentence on a sticky note and keep it visible while I do my research and write my article. It helps me cull out information I don’t need and keep me focused.
- Self Editing – I always take time to go back though my article and check to see that every single sentence relates to my focus. It may be a beautifully crafted sentence, but if it doesn’t relate it’s useless to me and especially to my reader.
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