Basic Writing Skills

Basic Writing Skills

Basic Writing Skills Leadership Certification Level 1 Betty Kossick A Writer Writes for Readers

First Things First! What is the Purpose of your Writing? Who is your Audience? Knowing your AUDIENCE Helps you to determine the

STRATEGY you will use Types of Writing You May Use

Press Release News Story Newspaper Feature Story Magazine Feature Story Narrative Writing Devotional

Getting in Shape! Exercise 1 Sit in a place where you can watch people Write description of all you see and all that happens Take notice of sizes, shapes and other

visual details Exercise 2 Write continuously as you listen to a musical selection Associate freely What are you reminded of? What are your responses?

Exercise 3 Practice a two minute writing test Choose anything to write over and over See how many times you can write it in two minutes Exercise 4 Practice what is known as free writing

Choose a topic and just begin writing Say whatever comes to mind Just let your mind work and your hands flow Discard the tendency to make a judgment Free writing exercise

For five minutes write as much as you can think of on one of these subjects Ink pen, marshmallow, brownie, telephone, cotton ball, sticky note If your mind goes blank just write I cant think of anything to write until an idea does come Write Freely

Know your focus The first thing you want to do is: Capture the attention of your audience Who is the story about? What is the story about? Where does it take place? When does it take place ?

Why is it taking place? How does it work? Write with Energy Writers are like Gardeners Common Weeds

Is Has Would Was Have To Be words Ands

Were Had Can Should Could It was a dark and

stormy night . Stormy Darkness Gripped the Night Clichs (overused word or phrase)

Needle in a haystack Busy as a bee Straight as an arrow Throw caution to the wind Brevity of Words Avoid long sentences and paragraphs

Aim toward tight writing What changes did we make? Opening scene tells where, what, why, who, and when The dark corner scene was moved to the beginning Personalizing Word count reduced almost in half Redundant words, synonyms and descriptions are

eliminated The same story is told tightly Redundancy A huge throng of people gathered at twelve noon on Easter Sunday to debate the controversial issue. A throng gathered at noon on Easter to debate the issue.

Redundancy Soothing tranquillizer Solution: tranquillizer Is in need of Solution: needs Could hold practice Solution: could practice

Consider the meaning of words! Narrow down (can you narrow up?) Minor quibble (quibble implies minor!) Free gift

(its not a gift unless its free) Practice asking yourself, can I say this in less words? How would you shorten this: other matters that were recommended Can you shorten this?

two separate buildings Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite!

Writing will require rewriting Here the aspect of pruning comes in Hold every word accountable Lay your manuscript aside for a few days then try to read it as though someone else had written it Write For The Editors Needs Examine your target publication

Expect and accept critique Do not be overly attached to every word you have written! Teach With Your Writing Pretend you are presenting material as a teacher to a class Are you covering the bases for the students? Will the students understand what you are

trying to convey? Self-Editing

Is it to long? Where can I eliminate? Is it too short? Are there redundant words or phrases? Did I slip in any clichs? Are there too many of those passive, lazy words? Will my work be more effective if I moved

parts around? If I were the editor, would I buy this? More Self-Editing Will what I have written here reach out to the readers needs and interests? Is the context clear in all points? If quotes are used, are they correct? Is there a reason for everything that is there?

Check each paragraph for flow and linkage to its neighbour More Self-Editing (cont.) Check your grammar Make sure you have no spelling or punctuation problems Look at each individual word

Be ruthless with your editing pencil! Press release: Your name: Immediate release Daytime telephone number: Word count:

Womens Stress Seminar At Health Department Do you ever feel like a fried piece of meat, pressed between a limp piece of lettuce, a tomato slice and two pieces of half-burned toast? The Sandwich Woman is a no-cost (or if a fee is charged mention it later in the release) seminar to help women cope with the sandwiched feeling. Dr. Eleanor Bussy, a womans health specialist, will present the two hour seminar, on Monday, April 10, from 7-9 p.m. at the Moomey Health Department auditorium, 1700 Main Street. Attendance is limited to 40 so call soon to reserve your space! To register,

call 545-9876 by Friday, April 7. Curiosity and Caution If a writer is not curious, she will fail to capture all the information needed An unenthusiastic, non-curious writer will bore the reader Do not overburden your manuscript with too much information

If the interviewee seems to exaggerate or hedge with questions, urge clarification or delete the statement Interviewing for Information Do not ask a question which allows the interviewee to answer with only a yes or no Do not ask a leading question

Avoid using a loaded question Be Patient! Realize that not everything you write will make it into print Keep writing, and rewriting! All good things come to those

WRITERS who write while they wait.

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