If we want to write a non-fiction article that will move people to act decisively to improve their lives or correct a shortcoming, we must remember these four basic tips.
We must never settle for mediocrity. Always strive to produce a masterpiece, even if we fall short. Aspiring for greatness pushes us to higher levels of competency.
1. Pithy – Clearly, people prefer shorter, powerful articles. We place the reader into our ideas quickly and carry them through at a brisk pace, to retain their attention.
Being pithy does not mean that we do not adequately express our ideas. Rather, we do so with the most economical method available to us. Economy of language requires skill and a repertoire of active, visual words. We must let the reader see our ideas so they can catch on quicker.
2. Persuasive – If we wish to move people to action, give them the direction and motivation necessary to make the journey. Every word must advance the cause. Our pet topics may interest us, but if they do not work toward the ultimate goal, cut them.
Persuade a general audience, unless we only want people of a certain segment of society to accept our suggestions. Be clear what we want of our readers, so they will understand and take the right road.
3. Profound – Editing and vision produces a profound piece of writing. Work hard to rise above the mundane articles we see around us. Strive to write the article on the subject. Give the reader something they are not getting anywhere else, even if that is only in our use of illustrations. Ideas come to life with an angle that is fresh to the reader.
4. Portable – Always give the reader something to take with them. Impart ideas that are portable, so they can put them in their pockets and share with others. Crisp stories and anecdotes are memorable. Clichés are the antithesis of portability.
If we will remember these tips, we will produce better work. Writers must care about their readers and respect them and their intelligence. Simple and profound is a challenge that will always stir people’s hearts for good.