Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Start to Finish (Part 2 of 10)

Don't distract readers.

As you read each article, here’s another question to ask: Is there anything that distracts me from a single focus? Less experienced writers, like beginning preachers, tend to provide too much information and thus divert the power of the message.

Once you have a single-focused idea, you can state it in one sentence. Here are examples:

• If you’re considering adoption, here are seven things you need to know.

• Too often people see the patient but the caregiver becomes invisible.

• I didn't want to forgive Betty, but Betty forgave me and made me see the hardness of my heart.

If you can't reduce an article, scene, or chapter into one statement, you probably haven't focused.


  1. Oh, that's a tough one! I need to use that all the time. Thanks.

  2. Wow, I never considered that one. I am, though, going to put it to use when I go back and start to revise my book. Thanks.

  3. It's something I can now say, "Well, yes of course!", but only because you've stated it so concisely. Thanks.

  4. The fine art of being succinct. I guess I have a lot to learn! :)

  5. This is me. I distract myself running this way and that chasing thoughts around. I am learning from editors of articles to keep to one point.


What are your thoughts?