January 28, 2014 2 Comments
How to write a good article ? Something that people will read and share on social media ? Something attractive and coherent ? Here are some pieces of advice you can follow…
People generally assume that it is very easy to write a good article when you are a seasoned journalist. Nothing could be further from reality!
Writing a good article, even if you are not a rookie, is a very demanding task and a lot of work !
I gathered in this mindmap all the stages of the writing process. As usual, you can download this mindmap about How to write a good article from my Biggerplate profile.
1. Find a good topic
First of all, you have to find a very good topic! Something unique that will enthrall your readers, something interesting which will give them a different point of view or the comment of a world renowned specialist.
2. Write for your readers, not for yourself
But, above all, don’t forget : you write for the reader, not for yourself. The reader is your absolute measure, you should keep him or her in mind at every stage of the process. That is why I enclosed the topic “your readers” inside a boundary : to remind you (and me) of the utmost importance of your readers.
3. Listen to your readers
How do you find a good topic for your readers? Listen to them ! It’s never been so easy! Nowadays, everybody speaks on the Internet, on blog comments, in social media… Set up a monitoring system with an aggregator, like Feedly for instance.
4. Gather relevant information
This will help you gathering relevant information : funny stories, interesting points of view, unique witnesses of a great event. Things that will give some flesh to your story.
5. Analyze your information
But gathering information is not enough : you have to analyze it. What is really relevant here? Are those data really accurate? Is the information relayed by the witnesses considered credible at all? Cross-check your information to see if there are no contradictions or inaccuracies…
6. Choose the right angle
Choose the right angle to tell your story : will you adopt the doer point of view? Are you writing from the witness eyes? Are you comparing this situation to a previous one and contrast the differences? The angle is utterly important : it could be the only difference with one of your competitors’ article…
7. Structure your paper
Structure your paper : will it be a funnel-like text, starting from the most general information and going deep into the minutest details? Or will it be a chronology, recalling a long series of facts ending up in a striking conclusion? Or will it be an interview : a dialog between you and one or several people involved in the event? The structure is also an important and difficult choice. The way you present your story to your audience can emphasize some points but also hide or minimize other important data.
8. Write down your story!
Write ! It’s about time, isn’t it? Yes, now you can sit down at your desk and start typing. You are going to assemble bits and bolts and make a coherent, fascinating story. Do it with style. Respect your reader, so avoid useless repetition, clichés and jargon. Your reader deserves the best of your production!
And, by the way, your reader is not your mom : so don’t expect praises and compliments if your text doesn’t match the industry standards…
9. Edit your paper
So after writing, don’t forget to edit your paper : it’s time to chase mispellings and clumsy wording, to trim lingo and difficult expressions. Keep it simple and stylish! If possible, get it edited by someone else.
10. Publish your story!
And finally : publish! Choose the right canal to do so. If you are a blogger, you have total freedom. If you are a journalist, you’ll have few impact on the publishing process : the story, the angle, the structure, the publishing time… all of that will be imposed (or at least discussed) by your editor in chief…
But, anyway, when all this is done, you’ll have the pleasure to read your prose online or on paper and you’ll probably get some feedback from your favorite readers (including mamy, yes!).
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