Anatomy of an Article, Part Two: Buff Your Body

 Anatomy of an Article, Part Two: Buff Your Body

Anatomy of an Article, Part Two: Buff Your Body

Why settle for tired, flabby writing?  The buff article body you've always wanted can be yours today.

All you need to do is Identify, Unify, and Beautify.

Following these three easy steps will help you achieve amazing results when writing a new article:            

  1. Identify – Use style and tone to identify yourself to your reader. Your writing style is the words you choose and the way you use them. It tells the reader who you are. You're congenial. You're accessible. You're funny, sarcastic, pedantic. Whoever you are, be yourself, and let the reader know you through your style. Read your writing out loud. Does it sound like you? It should. That's your style.

    The tone of your article should identify who you are in relation to the reader and who you are in relation to the topic. Are you an expert?  Write with an authoritative tone. Are you an amateur? Don't try to sound like an expert. Your tone should be more familiar if you're a gal pal or a childhood friend than if you're a curious observer or a slack-jawed gawker. Are you a satirist, humorist, alarmist, philanthropist?  Hone your tone accordingly and you're on your way to a buffer body.

  2. Unify – A unified body is a buff body. Before you begin decide what you want to accomplish with your article, and write every line with that in mind. Deny diversions. Turn away from tempting tangents.  Stick closely to your topic - after all, you chose it - for your sake as well as the reader's. Think vertical. Trim any passage that takes you in a new direction; keep those that take you deeper.

  3. Beautify – Buff your article body with a basic beauty treatment. Take a good look. Does your body look good? Toss the typos. Pluck the passive verbs. Repair misspelled words and replace misplaced punctuation. Do you have enough sub headings and are they in the right places? How long are your paragraphs? If they're too short your reader may feel jarred; too long and they may get winded.

Is your body stuffed with slang?  Have you gorged on graphs? Even the sharpest blade dulls from overuse, so take care not to overindulge your favorite writing techniques.

Subscribe to receive my bi-monthly Onwords™ column, and  join me next time for "The Living End", Part 3 of the Anatomy of an Article series.

Copyright © 2007 by Sally Bacchetta. All rights reserved.