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So you want to write. As with anything in life, writing must have a foundation. In my experience, I have found these to be the foundational pillars of effective writing:
Embedded in the component of knowledge are the basics: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. The first question you must ask yourself is "WHY?" WHY do you want to write? As the writer, you need to identify and KNOW this. What do you want to write about and WHY? Is what you want to write about important to anyone else but you?
"HOW" comes next. How knowledgeable are you about the topic? Facts matter, even in fiction. How well do you know your intended audience? Do you assume you know what they want? Are you sure that they'll want to read what you want to write?
Put simply, the tone of your writing refers to the mood and attitude conveyed in what you write. You know the old adage: "It's not what you say, but how you say it..." Well, it still holds true. Tone is about attitude and mood as expressed by the writer and/or a character the author creates. A good writer is intentional, not haphazard about tone. Think about how you want your readers to feel when they read your writing.
FORM & STYLE
Nothing turns a reader off faster than poor diction, sloppy writing, and a schizophrenic storyline. Dot your "I's" and cross your "T's", finish your thoughts and expand your vocabulary. There's a whole world of words to use and your audience will thank you!
Point Blank: Why write about something you're not passionate about? Whether it's your dissertation or a Craig's List ad, your writing should have some intentional kick to it. A lack of passion shows in your writing. Ambivalence kills.
There is always room to grow as a writer, but these basics can effectively guide your writing journeys.
~Just Get It Write~