How to Write a Good Article (from Creative Writing Course)

Article Title: How to Write a Good Article (from Creative Writing Course)
Author Name: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Writing, Creative Writing, Writing tips/hints, articles, writing articles
WebSites: http://www.creativekiwis.com/course/index.html+ + www.lulu.com/craiglock/

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)
Publishing Guidelines:
This piece (as with all Craig’s articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD ARTICLE
(a lesson extracted from the “original” Online Creative Writing Course)
Whether you are writing offline or to promote your web site on the ‘net’, here are a few tips based on our writing experiences …
“It’s easy being a writer… the hardest part is figuring how to make a living, whilst one does so.”
Firstly, carefully research and study your subject matter. Think it all through very carefully, WHAT you are going to say and HOW you are going to say it. I believe the essence of writing a good interesting article is simplicity, but with a touch (or could it be “tinge” of the unusual). Always aim for clarity and simplicity in your writing. How long should your article be? In writing for newspapers or popular magazines the length is probably around
500-750 words (or one to 2 pages). I would far rather read a 1000 word article giving information that would help me, than a breezy 3000 word article of waffle that doesn’t say much at all. Always try to put yourself in the position of the reader.
Put the basic facts simply into the first paragraph, stating the ‘gist’ of your article…. to entice your reader to WANT to read on. Write simply for the widest audience. .
Choose simple words, like using ‘get’ rather than ‘procure’. Strong and meaningful, that are easy to understand. Write in short, fast-paced sentences. Ensure that your article reads quickly and easily. Otherwise if an article is too long the reader can easily lose concentration and give up. Examine your sentences and paragraphs carefully to ensure that the words flow smoothly. A paragraph should deal with one idea, developed in one or more sentences that logically advances the points you are trying to make, add meaning or develop the story you are telling (the plot). Always try to make your meaning clear. Ensure that your sentences are well structured and that your grammar is correct.
The first words of your article are of vital importance to grab your reader’s attention. You are doing a “selling” job to entice them to read more – so make the reader want to read more. Develop your theme logically. Carefully plan what you are going to say.
Make a list of your main points. Then progress from one to another (logically), so that they lead to a conclusion. For example:
“…and that is why I think the resource management act is good for the local environment.”
or
“and that is why I believe all accountants and actuaries should be set in concrete and used as traffic bollards.”
Oops, sorry accountants and actuaries!
Do you know what an actuary is? An accountant who didn’t have the personality!
An Example Of An Article
Eg: You are writing about the growing popularity of home
computers.
Identify 4 or 5 main points:
say,
* the cost
* who is buying them?
* how they are being used
and
* their implications for the future.
In a short article each of these points will be a paragraph. In a longer article, the points will be developed. Arrange your points logically. You can include sub-points under each main point. In the example on computers you may include:
word processing
computer games
accounts and
school work.
There are three main parts of any article. Your article should have an introduction. This introduces the reader to the subject and covers some basic facts relating to the article… to entice the reader to want to read more. Then comes the main body of the article which comprises most of an article. This then leads logically to a final deduction or conclusion. This is essentially a summary of all the
main points mentioned before.
I believe the key to writing good articles lies in good PLANNING. Collecting and reasearching your material and thinking clearly. What points to include and what to omit. Spend a quiet time thinking before you even set pen to paper. Ask for inspiration from your creative subconscious mind.
Your article should answer the five questions of a very
inquisitive person:
WHO
WHAT
WHERE
HOW
and
WHEN
I’ve just remembered I used to drive my dad ‘dilly’ with those questions when I was a kid. “Inquisitive little bugger!”
As I mentioned, the title and your first words are of vital
importance to grab your reader’s attention. Make them want to read more. Develop your theme step by step – it’s like building a wall brick by brick. Plan what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it. Make a list of your main points. Then elaborate on them. Progress logically, naturally and smoothly from one to another, so that they lead to a conclusion. I’m repeating myself, not out of senility… but for effect. Also saves me the trouble of even more editing!
Have a strong summary to round off your article. If you know exactly how you are going to end off, the more easily you will shape the article as a whole. It’s like starting off with a piece of clay then molding and shaping it.
After completion, re-read your article a number of times. Polish it up by changing words and expressions.
Insert a human touch to your article You are adding your personal touch, a bit of your personality, your individual thoughts and creativity to the sculpture of life. It is a little bit of the real you coming out – a little of you and your unique “work of art” is being expressed to the world.
Finally and most importantly,
make your article interesting and absolutely truthful with the facts.
*
PRESENTATION
Not one of my strong points (both on and off-line); but here are a few points to help you…hopefully!
1. Present your work on A4 size paper.*
2. Type on one side of the page only.
3. Use “double space” between lines.
4. Leave a margin of at least 1 inch each side, top and bottom.
5. Have a Title Page with the name of the writer on it. Makes you feel quite proud of your ‘little effort’!
6. Use a Header with the Title, Your Name and Page No.
Much easier writing for the www and being published online. No chopping down trees, so the “greenies” must be very happy.
OTHER POINTERS
I firmly believe writing articles should be entertaining as well as informative. I aim for that in my writing STYLE. Don’t be too impersonal – put in little anecdotes about yourself. Also don’t be afraid to express personal opinions on issues. (I must learn to keep quiet at times!)
Seeing my first article in print gave me a big thrill. Now use your creative imagination to the fullest, as its a great way to promote your business or service… online, as well as in the “real world.”.
So why not start writing that article. You may even see that article published. And perhaps I may even see your name in print.
Good luck * and happy writing ‘dem’ articles.
Craig Lock (Eagle Productions)
* rather aptly defined as where ‘preparedness meets opportunity’
As the ancient Chinese proverb said so wisely…
The journey of a thousand miles begins with…
a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.
About the submitter:
Craig believes in (and loves) sharing information and insights with a dash of humour, to make a difference in this world: to help and especially encourage people along life’s magical journey … and that brings him the greatest joy.

New Online Creative Writing Course.
15 entertaining lessons by a prolific author. Learn the craft of writing creatively and have fun at the same time.

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – mine!

THIS ARTICLE MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED
PPS:
Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at

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