Prepare to write well

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Preparation is the key to good writing.

What’s the first thing to consider before you begin writing? Your audience. You need to keep your audience in mind when you start writing because your audience will determine the tone and language you use.

When it comes to language, I always recommend you write in plain English – no jargon and it’s so much easier to read and understand.

Now for the next question before you begin: what action, or event or decision do you want as a result of your writing? Get this clearly into your mind, because that must be your focus.

Once the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ are sorted, you need to plan your attack. You’ll need some substance…some facts and figures maybe, to back up what you’re saying.  That could involve some research or mental sorting of what you already know.

The facts you incorporate must be interesting. If they’re not, then you need to make them fascinating and dynamic. They must add weight to your argument. They must engage your readers – not bore the socks off them.

Now for the final point: put the right side of your brain to work. Good writing needs creativity. And creativity lives in the right side of your brain. Wake it up and let the good ideas flow. Inject your writing with character and colour. Paint a vivid verbal picture.

It’s hard if you’re not used to it. But don’t worry; your logical, rational left-brain will rein it in if you get too wild. That’s what a re-read is for!

Of course, all this preparation takes time.

The simple fact is, good writing, like good painting or good carpentry or good wine-making, is not something you can rush. If you want to write well, you need to allow time.