Response: Make Every Word Count: Tips for polishing and tightening copy By Steve Buttry
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Within this article I will review and explain the key points to Steve Buttry’s article, “Make Every Word Count”. As an New Media Artist and blogger I will touch upon the points that Buttry mentions that I felt were applicable to all people who blog or publish online articles and not just for those who are professional writers. Buttry separates his article into several categories and then sub-categories. The first category is labeled, “Plan to write tight”, which discusses how to construct your article properly. The two most important parts of this section I believe were: “consider the reader” and “make your story useful”. When you are writing anything it is important to always have in mind who your audience is. Base on who your audience is will influence the style of writing, but the rule of thumb should be to write primarily for a reader with average interest. While keeping the interest of the reader in mind, make sure your story is useful. When writing an article aim towards topics that are useful for the reader such as, what to buy, where to eat, etc. This will be more favoured by readers to not only read but share.
In the second category labeled, “Set the pace”, Buttry discusses how to create a gripping lead that will intrigue readers to continue reading and/or return for future articles. In this section Buttry discusses, “Identify and avoid detours,” which means you want to take the reader straight to the point of the story and not take detours around the point. Just because you may have collected many facts, doesn’t mean you have to share each one; be selective. This also ties into another important point made called, “Be demanding,” which means use the best of everything you have: information, illustrations, examples and quotes. Demand that your content be the best that you can produce by making your writing, tight, clear, interesting, and of a modest length.
The final category that Buttry discusses is labeled, “Allow time to rewrite”. This is one of the most important steps as a writer to consider because it is what will change your writing from being good to polished. Buttry has several tips within this category when editing your work, but the ones I feel are of up most importance is: “Read aloud”, “Check each sentence”, and “What’s the story about?”. When editing the easiest way to go over a first draft is to read the content aloud to yourself. You will be able to catch mistakes easier and hear the follow of the writing. Next, go through each sentence individually because there may be extra words or phrases that can be eliminated to make the writing more concise. Finally, when you believe you have finished your own editing, step back from the work and reflect on what’s the story about. Sometimes when you are writing or editing you can drifted away from the main reason of the article. If you discover this, decide if you have to rewrite the body to match the focus, or gain a better understanding of the story and begin to rewrite again. Buttry mentions many other tips for editing, but many of them can be resolved by simply giving your writing to another to edit for grammar and flow.
Buttry mentions many very important tips to creating well written articles, especially in the last category, “Allow time to rewrite”, that should all be considered whenever you are writing an article, blog, artist statement, essay etc. I myself learned from this article that to be straightforward with my writing and editing should never be ignored.