Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Create Reader Interest

Posted by Linda

Only the writer can create reader interest. A subject isn't boring but a bored writer can make it so. According to Jacobi, a subject is what you make of it. Its appeal depends on the approach of the writer.

If you are assigned a subject that doesn't appeal to you, you might consider declining the job. Your lack of interest will come through to the audience. You might be better off waiting for an assignment that sparks your interest. 

So, how can you capture your audience's attention?

First, you need to understand your audience. Then you need to entice them. If your subject is hockey, is your reader a hockey enthusiast, mother who doesn't want her child to play, hockey professionals, would be coaches, children, aging amateur athletes, or the general public? Focus your article on the pertinent information, angle, and language. Remember that your audience is one person at a  time reading your article. You must interest each of those people.

Consider the idea, gather the information, organize it all, and then write. Begin writing only after you have completed the first three steps in this four-part process. Narrow your focus. Instead of writing about the world, concentrate on just your neighborhood. Your research will be easier because you'll look for only those facts that support your main idea.

Think of yourself as a teacher who wants to keep interest alive in a classroom. I remember when teaching phonics in a second grade class, I practically stood on my head to get a sound across. Do whatever it takes to make your article appeal to your audience. That said, be sure you stick to the facts and don't embellish incorrectly.

Once you have organized your information for the idea you've chosen, you are ready to write. Let the first draft rest a day or so then revise. Do you have a self-editing checklist? I'll cover that next Wednesday.

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