Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Monday, August 15, 2005

Content Writing Editing Tips

Hold it! Don’t send that article! Not just yet!

You may think you’re through writing your article and that it’s now ready for publication. But after the writing, you’re not really done.

You might not know it, but you can prune down that 750-word article you’ve just finished into one that’s only 500 words or less.

And guess what?

I bet the short version would still be as effective as your original article, if not more.

Writing is all about communicating. It’s about getting your message across to your readers simply, quickly, and effectively.

You don’t just send in your first draft to your editor or publish it right away without looking it over first.

Re-writing. It’s the key.

Actually, it’s the most crucial step in the writing process.

It can be a frustrating thing to do especially when you’re still in "writer mode" and you believe you’ve written a brilliant piece.

But realize this: Re-writing your article will definitely pay off.

So here are 5 re-writing techniques you can use:

Technique # 1:Stick to your central theme or idea. Don’t insert bits and pieces of information about other things. Read through your work carefully. You’re bound to find ideas, words, phrases and sentences you can strike out.

Technique # 2:Beware of long introductions. It’s OK to start with an introductory paragraph, but some writers tend to write introductions that span several paragraphs. Start with the most striking sentence, quote, or idea and then go on from there.

Technique # 3:Rearrange words, phrases and sentences. Often, merely rearranging words within a sentence will shorten that sentence. The trick here is to find prepositions and eliminate them. Break down long sentences that contain two or more ideas. You’ll get rid of more conjunctions, articles and prepositions that way.

Technique # 4:Are you being redundant? If you used something like "absolutely complete," "ask the question," "for a span of one month," or "factual information," then you’ve managed to be redundant. It’s either complete or not -- you don’t have to add the "absolutely" to make your point. Do you ask a statement? Of course not! So it’s fine if you use "ask." You say "for one month." You don’t have to add "a span of." And lastly, save yourself the trouble and use "facts" instead of "factual information."

Technique # 5:Get rid of dangling modifiers and participles, awkward prepositional phrases, and unnecessary adjectives. Look over your work to see if you have cliches. You may have overdone your metaphors and analogies too. Find them and cut them out.

Apply the 5 re-writing techniques on your article and you’ll get a leaner, meaner and more polished piece. And that will get your piece published in more ezines and sites!

So...have you just used the 5 techniques on that article you were about to send a while ago?
If you have, then don’t keep that article sitting on your computer -- Send it NOW!

Copyright © 2000 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta, All Rights Reserved.

Author Information:Shery Ma Belle Arrieta Shery is the author of the exciting new series of ebooks, SEEDS: Ideas for the Everyday (Non-Fiction) Writer. If you think you need inspiration to write, think again! The ebooks in the SEEDS Series will keep you writing every day -- all year round -- and you don’t even have to be inspired! Visit http://www.seedsforwriters.com today!

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