Friday, September 7, 2012

Writing Articles (Part 18 of 21)

Polish the article again.

You've edited once and you're finished.

I doubt it.

Keep editing and revising it until you know you can’t make it better.

Look for redundancies. Most writers tend to overwrite and to say the same thing three or four times with different words. In print, you need to say something only once (unless you're using it as a literary device). Therefore, when you polish, aim for brief articles and short chapters.

Today, articles run 800 to 1800 words and if you stay below 1200 words, you're probably about right. Chapters have also gotten shorter. For an example, look at the novels of James Patterson. None of his chapters takes up more than five pages. Each is one scene, and a decade ago editors would have combined several of them into a single chapter. Patterson caters to the byte-size generation and his books consistently hit the best-seller lists.

My writing may not hit the best-seller lists, 
but I can make it the best writing I'm capable of producing. 
And if it's my best, that's good enough—for now.

1 comment:

  1. That was the gut about my chapters to make them short. I know as a reader, some nights I can only read a few paragraphs. To be a good writer, you must be an experienced reader and pay attention to other readers.

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