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Library > Articles > Writing > 004

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Good Article Writing
Contributor: Mike de Sousa, Director, AbleStable®

At AbleStable our aim is to provide articles for the creative community that not only present invaluable information, but also probe aesthetic and philosophical issues relating to creativity. This primer sets out some general guidelines for how best to write high quality articles that will be welcomed for inclusion at AbleStable.

Our article contributors are not only happy their work has a large and discerning readership, they also enjoy the increase in direct email contact and traffic to their own sites as a result of links that are contained in the bio section of articles.

Writing for AbleStable
Article writing for AbleStable is a little different than for other web sites as our articles tend to carry more content than is usual on an average web page. Many of our more thought provoking articles are in excess of a thousand words, far longer than the usual three to five hundred word articles you'll find on the majority of web sites. That's because the issues that are often under the spotlight benefit from a more considered, in-depth approach.

Who writes?
Every article at AbleStable has been written by someone with a passion for their subject, and our open submission policy encourages contributions from all sections of the community. If you're excited by and have acquired knowledge and skills about a particular area of interest that relates to creativity, or that may be of use to the creative person, you have a strong foundation in writing an effective article.

Article length
All articles at AbleStable are presented on a single page making them easier to read off-line, and although some articles are a little over five hundred words, most come in at around a thousand words.

People not only want information, they want information presented on the Internet in a clear and concise fashion. That doesn't necessarily mean writing a short article. People are far more likely to read articles at AbleStable carefully, rather than superficially scan an article as is the case on most web sites. Think of us in the same light as a quality newspaper or publication and you'll see where our emphasis and readership lies.

What interests readers
If you are not interested in a subject don't even start writing. Passion in a subject passes from the writer to reader like electricity through water. When a reader suspects a lack of passion, they'll be off never to return.

People want to be informed and are interested in detail. If you have knowledge or expertise on a technical matter, share the detail, explain the process and why the subject is important to you. Be focussed about your subject at all times. The reader is not interested in trivial events or your opinion about a given subject, they will however be fascinated by a thought provoking question you raise and a well argued position you hold.

Doing the write thing
People don't like cheats. Your work must be yours, not a loose copy of someone else's. Plagiarising another writer's work doesn't serve anyone, least of all you. Writing is hard work as you draft and redraft, but when your article is complete you will gain a sense of achievement that copying can never provide.

Never write a statement you know to be false. Your readers will make a mental note of your name and avoid your writing at all times in the future.

The Habit
Write as frequently as you can. The more you write the better you'll get. Writing every day will not only improve your writing skills, it will increase your writing confidence. Write
letters; emails; a journal; research notes on the subjects that interest you; anything!

Discipline yourself to write an article at least every three weeks. After you've written the first few articles you may hit a wall of self-doubt as you discover you can no longer simply call on your acquired knowledge as your subject matter. If you pass this stage and begin to seek out new subjects that interest you, you have begun your long journey as a writer.

Do things, don't do
Your article should have an introduction, a body (the main section of your article), and a conclusion. In addition you may wish to work on a short biographical statement that carries your email and web site address. There are many principles that ensure words are communicated clearly, and a headline list of writing advice that will improve your writing style follows:

Be passionate about your subject matter

arefully research and study your subject

Allow the content to speak for itself

When writing about people ensure you are fair and represent them honestly

Reflect carefully upon any arguments you present

Never lie

Assume your reader is always on the verge of leaving

Don't waste the reader's time

Omit unnecessary words



Work hard on your opening statement

Aim for clarity, simplicity, and excellence

Continually cut your article down to the bare bones

Make your writing precise

Stick to the point

Don't write about yourself

Plan your main points

Vary the words you use and your sentence structure

Start a new paragraph when your focus changes

Consider the general ebb and flow of your writing and keep the reader engaged

Develop your main points

Choose the best word for the context

Use a question and answer model to illustrate complex issues

Ask yourself the who, what, where, how, and when questions about your article

Read your work

Revise your work often

Take some time out then return to your work with a fresh outlook

Don't rush or complete your article too quickly

Plan your conclusion ensuring the reader is satisfied by the closure of your article

Seeing your writing published gives you a great feeling, but knowing your writing is being read by a discerning audience who enjoy high quality writing is better still. Put the time and effort into writing well and you'll be rewarded beyond expectations. Go write, write well, write now...

Authors background
Mike de Sousa is the Director of AbleStable®. Mike has been commissioned as an artist, music composer, photographer, print and web site designer, and author.

If you observe inaccuracies in our in-house contributions or wish to contribute an article or review to be included at AbleStable® visit Feedback.

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