Hello! As promised this is a post on tips on writing for beginners (few of the ones I use myself), so lets get on with it…
- Topic Angle: If you are given a topic for an article or any write-up whatsoever, your subject should take a particular angle of expression, which you are supposed to find before doing your research. Why? So there would be vivid expression of your thoughts, and you’ll be able to choose, what and what-not to read about. An example: My post on Bandits and beggars, I wrote on the mischevious dealings of the Nigerian Government, now another writer could have taken that topic and written about the thieves pretending to be beggars at the streets of Lagos. That’s understandable, so you just have to find your angle.
- Research: I know it seems like you have heard this everywhere, every time and it seems like you won’t get enough of the “whole world” reminding you that you cannot dispense quality information without having enough of it but I tell you, we ain’t lying. Writing a 500 word article requires at least 5 hours research on whatever topic you want to write about. This is necessary and it helps in preventing dispensation of wrong information (insert President Buhari’s sad opinion of lazy youths). Note that, by research I also mean asking questions and relating to actual life scenarios in the society.
- Create an outline: You’ve found your target, analyse your points in lists logically (that is in a way you think your audience would understand). Now you might need to think like an audience to actually write about whatever it is you’re writing about, did something similar in we are anxious tribesmen, and i could mentally imagine my audience scolding me once they reached the last paragraph (lol). It won’t help if you’re just one sided about your write-up (so outline points that’d be easy for your audience to understand).
- Now Breathe: You’ve read, understood and explained your points in notes. Breathe, express the audience’s POV and start writing
- Curate the article section by section: Please do not scatter your points. It becomes senseless and complicated.
- Revisit the guideline: Just to be sure, go through the guideline and see how many times you skipped and how far you’ve gone (this is important for articles with specific word counts).
- Does your article answer the questions; Why? What? Who? How? And Where?
- Get pictures (if need be): Pictures are graphic, they create an illustrative sense towards your topic, causing your audience to understand your content more. You can take pictures or get a picture, authorised by the photographer for your use.
- Don’t forget your footnotes, glossary and references. This are links to sources of your information and books related to your topic for further research. Your audience might be enthusiastic towards that topic, so please add reasonable links.
- Edit, Edit, Edit: check typos, Paragraphs, punctuation marks and so on. Preferably get someone with literary understanding (an editor, freelance writer, journalist, content developer, etc) to help you figure out synonymous words to replace yours and help in your presentation if need be.
- Mail Editor and/or Submit. Clearly stating the purpose of your mail.
- Now pray that he/she doesn’t wake up at the wrong side of the bed before reading your posts (though that’s not an excuse).
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