Got a story in your head that you just have to to put down on paper? I am not going to claim that I can make you into the next Tolstoy but every one of us is unique, and no one else on earth has had exactly the same experiences as each and every one of us has enjoyed so there is a tale to tell in every single person on earth! Like every skill however there are one or two rules that must be followed if your project is going to be successful and if other people are going to consider it worth while reading. Here are just a few of them which in my humble opinion the most important ones.
Firstly, make sure that whatever it is that you write about is something that you have at least an interest in, or preferably a passion about! If you don't find the subject matter interesting yourself how on earth are you going to research without getting bored rigid, how are you going to expect other people to be fired with enthusiasm by it if you are not yourself? Stories written by people who are not interested in their subjects are almost inevitably boring, and it is usually absolutely obvious that the writer created a little bit less than a masterpiece.
Secondly, make sure that you know your subject inside out. This is perhaps tied to a large degree to the first item, if you find a subject interesting you are going to be a lot more able to learn about it more easily. Read all the books you can get hold of on the subject, research it on the Internet and make sure that you have all the important facts available before you put pen to paper.
Thirdly; try to write in the same way as you talk. Many people try to write to in certain style which they think that other people will find interesting and appealing but the truth is that it sounds stilted and artificial. When you have written something read through it and think to yourself: would I say this if I was talking to a friend? If the answer is no, rewrites it.
Fourthly; If you are writing about a particular subject do not fall into the trap of padding it out with a lot of useless detail, matter which has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject, or repetitions. People will read your article or book because they are interested in the subject that you are writing about; if you pad it out with a lot of useless material in order to achieve a certain word count it will be obvious to even the most superficial reader and you will lose a lot of credibility.
Finally, use decent grammar! Once upon a time children were taught grammar at school automatically and it was looked upon as being one of the most important subjects in the schools curriculum. Nowadays things have changed and it is no longer viewed as being anywhere near as important; a drift away from normal grammatical standards has been highlighted by the appalling habits of texting in which the rules of grammar and spelling have seemingly been thrown into the dustbin. Fair enough, this may well be excusable when it is important to squeeze the maximum amount of information into the minimum amount of bandwidth but please do not bring these habits to the printed page, they simply will not work. If you are not aware of most of the rules of grammar and punctuation you will find that the better word processing packages can be set to inform you of the more elementary errors, although these can be compared with online translation software packages, in that they are a help but not a substitute for knowledge.
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