Writing is an essential part of our life. Luckily, the 21st century allows us to be more sincere and creative with our writing styles. We have much less taboo words or topics than our grandparents and we can express our thoughts much more freely. But some things that were unshakable for our grannies may come in handy for you in 2020 too!
Structure your writing
The greatest texts start from the idea. But there is one more step between the idea and the masterpiece: it’s the plan. It shouldn’t be explicitly detailed, but it is very useful to have a visual representation of the parts of your text and see what goes where.
Readers love structured texts. The logical structure that is already present in the essay or novel spares us time that we should have spent making it by ourselves. Each part should be logically connected to the previous ones and give some material to be used for the next chapters. This creates a feeling of wholesome and meaningful text.
Now there are lots of applications for computers, tablets, or even smartphones that allow us to drag and drop chapters, shifting them without the painful rewriting and remaking the connections between the pieces. In 2020 you may easily reconfigure your text, building the perfect structure that will please both you and the readers.
Choose a proper style
There is a popular internet meme where a simple “I can’t” turns into “This author is unable to can” in the term paper. Funny or not, but there are styles appropriate for different cases. We don’t write personal letters the same way as the published works. The magazine articles differ from fiction novels. Sometimes we may deliberately shift styles to emphasize something in our works, but to break the rules one should know them first.
It doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t make some styles interesting. If it’s not a strictly scientific or legal paper where each description shall be extremely detailed and precise, you still may make the text that will be read with pleasure by anyone. Search for the interesting examples, metaphors (if appropriate), and literary devices that are suitable for the style chosen. Or be short and precise, giving the readers the maximum of the information in the minimum amount of words. It’s totally up to you.
Use vivid language
The careful balance between the easy text and sophisticated and beautiful one is hard to achieve. But these characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive. There are several simple rules of making your text readable for everyone and interesting.
Try to use short sentences. You don’t have to limit them to, say, ten words (if you aren’t writing an SEO-optimized text). The ideal limit is the sentence a person can read in one breath. It’s our natural stopper developed by millennia of human speech. We have trouble with the perception of anything longer than a breath.
Avoid using the same words everywhere. The vocabularies offer lots of synonyms for almost any word. Usually, it’s enough not to repeat the same word in two sentences in a row to make the text smoother and more appealing. Especially, when you have to write an essay on a specific topic (for example, immigration law), try to use different sources with the needed information: from websites with such immigration law topics like LawAspect to online libraries and vocabularies.
The literary devices are the “spice” of your “word-cooking”. The text can’t consist of them only, but a reasonable amount here and there will draw the readers’ attention to the right parts of the text and won’t let them get bored.
Use the pace and the rhythm of the text. Long and calm descriptive sentences may change into short and sharp ones. This works like a call to action. It is another biological trick: our inner reader tends to read short sentences faster and adjust our breath to them. We start to breathe faster and our body becomes more alert.
Talk to your reader
Try to imagine your future readers before you start writing. Who are they? How old are they, what do they prefer, how do they speak? Always use the language that is easy to understand for your audience. You won’t use too much slang explaining the Internet to your granny. You also won’t put too many formulas into the astrophysics description for kids. Imagine that your reader is sitting right in front of you and your text is your way to talk to them.
Read the written parts aloud. Are they suitable to be told to your potential audience? Are there edges to be smoothed or the words to be changed? This simple mental exercise turns on your inner editor that will fix the errors in your text like if you really talked to someone who helped you adjust your text.
These tips might be useful for you not in 2020 only, but, we hope, in 2021 and even in 2221. There are some principles of written text that are almost hardwired in our brain and are associated with the “good text” pattern. Use them for good and we are sure that you’ll write an awesome literary piece!
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