Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Starting To Write

You've got your topic, your audience . . . so now what? How to get those ideas down on paper? Brainstorming is one way: just let your mind concentrate on the topic and write down your thoughts. Here's an example--the brainstorming I did about this blog:

"The first two blogs were written at the computer. The first was about the copyediting blog and copyediting in general. The second discussed the reasons for copyediting and included the G3/FBurney conversation about proofing from The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes and two samples of my copyediting work. The third blog will be a review of the book The Elements of Style. The next will be a book review. I'm not sure about the rest. I know I want to discuss the two Zinsser books I have, plus the Gordon books, and Altick. I'm also going to include the book reviews/evaluations of the Star books I've reviewed/evaluated. And then other books. And then I also want to discuss writing and why it's not just for English majors and how you need to know how to write a good resume, cover letter, thank you for the interview letter, and now no matter what sort of job you have, you might need to write something . . . casual writing is fine for e-mails and letters to friends and relatives i.e. writing that uses slang or abbreviations or dialect words, but for formal things like job application letters, etc., you need to learn to write Standard English. I could also blog about diff aspects of writing, the nuts and bolts of it--what makes a good sentence, sentence variety, diff sorts of problems like grammatical errors, syntax errors, word usage/language awareness errors, then go on to discuss errors of cohension and organization, etc. . . . anything that'd crop up in an English Comp class, and all this interspersed with book reviews. First I'll use the reviews of Star books interspersed w/ reviews on writing, then I'll go on to other books like my favorite kids' books authors--Wilder, Lovelace, Montgomery, Enright, Alcott, Estes, Lenski--and then review more writing/grammar books, and then other books like Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling, the Bront√ęs, Eliot, etc., history books, etc. I need to organize topics/days of the week, though."

Don't worry about anything in brainstorming, except perhaps being able to read your handwriting or making sure you saved the file . . . just get your ideas written down so you'll have some basic information for reference when you start writing.

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