Writing Tips

Resources for writers

The Writing Process

Writing is a process that involves many steps. The principles of writing are contained in the following four stages: invention and research, drafting, revision, and editing. While generally the order of these stages remains unchanged, good quality writing will involve what is known as a recursive process, a process in which the stages of your writing will recur as needed. For example, while you are at the revision stage, you might have to return to do some more research to develop and expand your ideas.

Invention and Research

  • This stage allows you to gather your information. Develop your ideas, conduct interviews, take notes, brainstorm, do your research, and become familiar with your story or the material you will be writing about.
  • Be sure that your genre, theme or subject matter is well defined in your mind but don't procrastinate, generating ideas occurs throughout the writing process.

Drafting

  • Your draft will contain a preliminary version of your document or book. Put your ideas into sentences and paragraphs. Concentrate on developing and/or supporting your ideas fully. Drafting will also allow you to connect your ideas and clarify them in your own mind. Regardless of how much thinking and planning you do, the process of putting your ideas into words changes them; often the very words you select evoke additional ideas or implications.
  • Don’t pay attention to such things as spelling and grammar at this stage.
  • The draft tends to be writer-centered: you telling yourself what you know and think about the topic.

Revision

  • Revision is the key to effective writing. Here you think more deeply about your readers’ needs and expectations. Your document or book becomes reader-centered.
  • Don't view revision as looking back to find errors or mistakes, but rather as looking forward to see where you can improve your draft and produce a finished product.
  • At this stage you also refine your prose, making each sentence as concise and accurate as possible. Make the connections between ideas explicit and clear.

Editing

  • Don’t edit your writing until the other steps in the writing process are complete.
  • Editing involves multiple steps ensuring good structure, appealing style, proper and accurate terminology, good grammar, and correct spelling.

Writing is an art, it should reflect the personal style of its author and be enhanced by commonly accepted literary principles.

Always have someone else help you with your writing. Whether you hire a professional editor or decide to ask your friend to do some edits for you, a second opinion is vital in producing a well written book or document.

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