Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Write How-to Articles (Part 3 of 5)

1. Pick one theme and focus on that subject. Even if you want to do an entire book, write each chapter as if it were an article. Make each chapter stand on its own, even when it builds on the previous chapters.

Sometimes that's obvious and here's an example. I expressed the topic for my book Aging Is an Attitude by its subtitle: Positive Ways to Look at Getting Older. I wrote the book because I got tired of negative media images and out of my own struggles about getting older. I also realized I couldn't choose to age—God made that decision—but I could decide my attitude during the process.

Every chapter in that book goes back to one point, even if I don't state the words: Here's another positive way to look at getting older.

2. Make your writing straightforward. You're giving information to readers who want to learn something, extend their knowledge, or look at a subject in a different way. Your article could be as straightforward as seven ways to stretch your money in a down economy or how to find thirty minutes (or five or ten) each day for a quiet time with God.

We write how-to articles and books
to give information about how to do something.

1 comment:

  1. Cec, Now that I'm 50, I am bothered as well that our culture and the media portray old age as something to prevent as long as possible. The Bible says the exact opposite. There is goodness in every stage of life.

    Where I live, the leaves turn wonderful colors this time of year and I love to sit and take in their beauty. They just scream the glory of God. In spite of all their radiance, the fact remains that the leaves are in the final stage of life. They're dying. It reminded me that if we choose to, we can bring the most beauty to others in our final years of life. That's my plan anyway. I'm going out in a blaze of glory, just like the leaves!

    I think you're doing this too. Thank you!

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