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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five essential questions to ask before you even start writing | Doris Bertie, Good Copy, Bad opy

The advice in this blog may seem simplistic and obvious to some people. But from experience, I know that many people don't ask these questions with much clarity before they begin writing or--especially--before they ask or contract with someone to write something for them.

It's essential that writers ask these questions if their clients don't come to them already knowing the answers. And even then, ask 'em again! 

Bertie begins:
Want to give your reader the most knowledge, while taking away the least time? Then ask yourself these five questions before you even put finger to keyboard.
She then elaborates on each question:
1. Who is my reader?
2. Who is not my reader?

3. What do I want my reader to do?

4. What does my reader need to know in order to do what I want them to do?

5. What if we don’t publish?
I think No. 3 above is a key question not asked often enough by even experienced writers. Surely, we want readers to respond in some way to anything we produce for their use. Knowing the type of response we want will help us determine how we write something. 

For more thoughts and resources on that point, check out Garbl's Action Writing Links.

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