Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Analysis: Looking for the Spark

I've been meaning to look over some of the old posts I've been slowly bringing over here from the old blog. I feel that much of my recent material has been sub-par in comparison with the older articles. What did I put into those articles that I'm not putting in now?

Off the top, I see three things that are different from the old to the new: A narrow focus, a bit of humour, and images.

When I write a post with a particular focus, a specific point I want to get across, it seems to come out better in the end. That almost goes without saying: what audience wants to read random ramblings every day? You can write those yourselves! "Analyzing the Stakes" focused on why stories go dead and how to fix them. Even "A Cup Of Tea..." had kind of a topic, even if that topic was 'My articles are being very naughty and making my brain go all bleh'.

A touch of humour adds to the entertainment value. Even if I'm on a boring subject, like grammar, a quip or strange turning of logic on its head, to achieve a smile on the face of the reader, is useful. Fortunately for me, my mind is filled with such foolishness. I once wrote a post wherein I offered cookies to the readers and imagined non-existent people complaining about my sky-typoing. *

It's well-known that images add visual interest to articles. Print magazines and online newsletters alike make use of them, if not to illustrate or give examples, then to break up the lines of the text and keep the reader's eye from driving straight down the page and perhaps missing the meaning the author wants to convey. When I combine images with my posts, they sometimes feed the humour aspect and at other times are just an outlet for my goofy sketchwork.

I'll be keeping these in mind as I write and I hope to bring back some of the spark I seem to have lost in recent months.

* It occurs to me that that post is another which needs to be ported over from the old blog. Heheh, oops. Look for that on Monday.

** Edited to add: Whoops, I do have that post here!  Link added.  Sorry 'bout that, Chief!

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