My #1 Writing Tip in hcraven | World Anvil

My #1 Writing Tip

I've recently been diving into the world of editing. People actually pay me to edit their writing. Crazy, right? After a few months of editing (mostly scientific and technical documents), I've decided to share a few things I've learned and look for when I sit down to improve somone else's work.   Today, I'm sharing my #1 tip to improve your prewriting, writing, and editing:      
What is your point?
  No, really. That's it. That's the message and my tip. Figure out what your point is. What are you trying to say? What is the absolute most important thing you are trying to convey? Identify the core point, and then fill in the details.  
What is your overall, main point?

What other points do you want to make?

What is the point of this chapter/section?

What is the point of this paragraph?

What is the point of this sentence?
  Crap! This is starting to look like an outline.     Anything that doesn't serve the point, that distracts, that is irrelevant or tangential, that confuses or obfuscates the point:  
... ... ... ...
  You... you get the point, right?     This advise ties into the old adage:  
Don't bury the lede!
  Your creative writing, your technical writing, the weird in-between, wiki-style writing we worldbuilders do, they all can benefit from this notion of getting right to the point. Of having a strong hook to draw in the reader. Of making your point, and then defending it, describing it, supporting it, or dismantling it.   Too often, I have to search for the point. I don't know what the topic is until the second or third paragraph. I get a bunch of data or details before knowing what it is the author is trying to describe. I don't know who the main character is until the end of the first chapter or the end of the second chapter. Or perhaps you jump straight into describing your fictional beast's habitat and behavioral patterns without first telling us what the creature is and why it is important to your world?  
What do you want your readers to remember?
  Make sure your most important information isn't hidden somewhere an impatient and distracted reader might skim over.     And of course, like any good rule, this one is meant to be broken, intentionally, thoughtfully, and even defiantly.

Cover image: by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay


Author's Notes

Thank you for reading!

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