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Three steps to writing well

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Three steps to writing well

Often when people write, they're afraid to make mistakes and so they edit themselves word by word, inhibiting the natural flow of ideas and sentences.

But professional writers know that writing is a process consisting of numerous drafts,
rewrites, deletions and revisions.

Rarely does a writer produce a perfect manuscript on the first try. The task ideally should be divided into three steps: writing, rewriting, and polishing.

  1. Writing – most professional writers go through a minimum of three drafts. The first is the initial 'go with the flow' draft where the words come tumbling out.

    When you sit down to write, let the words flow freely. Don't worry about style, syntax, punctuation, or typos – just write. You can always go back and fix it later.

    By letting it all out, you build momentum and overcome inhibitions that block your ability to write and think.

  2. Rewriting – in the second draft, the rewriting step, you take a critical look at what you've written. You edit for organisation, logic, content, and persuasiveness.

    Using your computer, you add, delete, and rearrange paragraphs. You rewrite jumbled passages to make them clear.

  3. Polishing – in the third draft, you give your prose a final polishing by editing for style, syntax, spelling, and punctuation.

    This is the step where you worry about things like consistency in numbers, units of measure, equations, symbols, abbreviations and capitalisation.
Last modified on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:47
James Hurford

James Hurford

James Hurford
James Hurford | Copywriter | Corporate Trainer | Owner of Passion – the copywriting company | Author of 'How to write well'
At Passion we specialise in copywriting in plain language for the financial services sector. With over 25 years of experience working for top international companies, we bring a vast amount of knowledge and copywriting expertise to every client we work with.


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