"C" represents communicating effectively through your writing. We all want to be understood in life, and communication is necessary for us to function in society. Whether through talk, body language or tone, all of life has a way of communicating. There are three main concepts to help your communication reach the people in it's targeted audience.
1. Content – Imagine a plate in front of you with a thick steak. Your mouth is watering as you grab the knife and fork and slice into it. It flies from the plate to your mouth and you bite into it, only to find out it’s nothing but fat. Disappointed, you don’t finish the steak. That’s how writing without content can be. When you read someone’s writing, you probably don’t want to read three pages of how someone is getting ready to do something, but never actually does it. That’s why content is so important. There are some organizational tips to help with content:
- Know what you are writing about: If you don’t have a clear goal in mind, you’ll write in circles and never reach your audience. When in revision, take out your rabbit holes that veer away from your main subject.
- Pre-plan: Make a list, bubble chart or outline of points you intend to cover in your writing. This helps you stay focused on your goal.
- Revise Later: Don’t start revising until after you have written everything you can. During writing, I have stopped for too long to figure out one word and forgot the rest of what I was going to write. When you stumble, just keep going.
- Keep your audience in mind: Knowing who you are writing to and looking at your subject from their perspective will help you reach them. Ask yourself how they would feel, act and what they would say about the subject you are discussing.
2. Style – Your style is unique to your writing. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd. Style is where word use plays its biggest role. When he landed on the moon, Louis Armstrong didn’t say, “we have landed on the moon today!” He made it much more personal than that by referring the success as “a small step for man, a giant step for mankind.” That’s why we still refer to his famous words today. He related his words to all of us. It was his style. Style focuses around three things:
- Words: without the correct words to say what you mean, communication is nothing. Words mean different things to different people. A simple word like “bed” could have different meanings depending on your audience. If you are writing to kids, “bed” could mean something to jump on, which conveys excitement. Or it can mean time to sleep, which most kids dislike, so it would convey frustration. However, to an adult, “bed” most likely means rest, recuperation, the place they probably always want to be. Who you’re writing to will determine the kinds of words you use.
- Fluency: You ever heard that phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” Well, both are important. Content is what you say, but fluency is how you say it. What words do you put together? What kind of rhythm and rhyme do you prefer when smoothly reading text? Fluency is easier to master when you are in the editing phase after putting everything down that you intended to say.
- Voice: Voice is your personality flowing within the text. Do you like telling jokes? Add some into your writing! Are you more the serious type? Let some of that slip out in your writing. Your personality should shine in your work. It’s what makes the work your own!
3. Structure – Structure is one reason why an outline is an important part of writing. Even professional writers use them because they help organize main ideas. That way, characters don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of plot and there’s no broken train of logic. It’s not mandatory, but if you struggle with getting your thoughts and imagination down on paper, it's a good path to follow.
Anyone can be a writer with the proper knowledge. If it helps, attend book clubs, writing seminars, workshops and other useful events to grab some resources on how to become a polished writer. Make connections with other writers who can help hone your writing and appreciate the unique qualities you bring. Writing doesn't have to be a nightmare. Getting started can be as easy as A-B-C!
Cali, Kathleen. "5 Style." Style - The Five Features of Effective Writing. Learn NC, 2003. Web. 07 July 2017.
Francis, Scott. "Six Logical Writing Structures." WritersDigest.com. Writer's Online Workshops, 13 July 2011. Web. 07 July 2017.
Barone, Lisa. "12 Tips for Writing Better Content." Small Business Trends. N.p., 21 Sept. 2013. Web. 07 July 2017.
Bacon, Francis. "Communication Skills: Writing." Written Communication Skills. The University of Kent, Web. 07 July 2017.
FROM THE WRITER
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