December 30, 2011

Write Faster and Control the Length of your Web Article with Phrase Outlining

A web article is a relatively short write-up that is meant to be posted to a website. It should not be more than 10 paragraphs of about three to four sentences each. If in the process of writing the article, your soon realized that it will reach three pages of text, you should publish the article in PDF or any other document format that can be displayed on various gadgets used to access information from the Internet. You can then just make a write-up describing the article on your website and offering a link from which the document can be downloaded. Your reader can then have the option of printing the document and reading it offline.

In order to avoid unnecessarily lengthening your article, you should make sure that you focus your article on a very specific and small aspect of the topic you have chosen to write on. If during the writing of the article, you soon found out that you cannot shorten it to a manageable length, you can divide the article into two or more parts and write an article for each part. A very long article on your website can appear intimidating and the reader may just choose to  print it or dispense with reading it altogether.

Coming up with just the right length for your article is a carefully-executed balancing act between substance and using too many words to express the ideas that you have in mind. You don't want to cut your article too much that the article becomes pointless. At the same time, you don't want your article to appear dense and thus intimidating to the average reader.

Phrase outlining or idea outlining can help you control the length of your article and at the same time enables you to write your article much faster. If you have chosen to write on a bigger topic that can be accommodated in one article, it can help you divide the big article into two or more smaller articles. With the help of your idea outline, you would never experience being bogged down by the writer's block. Thus, you achieve a smooth and pleasant writing experience.

We were taught in school how to use sentence outline for planning our writing assignments. However, you don't necessarily have to use sentence outline which is the formal way of doing it. A phrase outline or an idea outline consists of phrases that are short enough but sufficiently captures the point that we want to impart to our readers.

It is so frustrating for a writer to start writing eagerly on a topic only to be stopped abruptly by the dreaded writer's block. To avoid finding yourself in such a situation, do not start writing until your phrase outline is complete. By being complete, I mean that the proposed article has enough substance to stand on its own. It means that there is sufficient number of points to support the main topic of the article.

In my experience, having at least five major points that support your main idea is enough to warrant the writing of the article. You can then proceed to write from one to at most two paragraphs of text to expound on each major point. Exercise strict control during the writing process to avoid unnecessarily lengthening your article. Do not introduce any new idea that do not properly belong in the major point that you are writing on.

It would be much easier if you would be bogged down during the outlining phase of your writing activity as it would feel less frustrating than when you experience it during the writing process itself. If by any chance you got bogged down when completing your phrase outline, it only means that your main topic had not sufficiently jelled in your mind. Stop doing the phrase outline and let it sit for a few days but keep the incomplete outline in your mind. Come back to the outline when the points that are to make your outline complete pop out of your mind. Now, you can complete your phrase outline after which you can start writing your article.

However, some experienced writers go boldly into the writing process without first outlining what their write-up is supposed to contain. They challenge their minds to take them to as far as they can go and then look at what they will find there. It is possible to be able to complete an article using this approach. But if you're not careful, you could easily lose control and find yourself in never-never land. It is much easier and more reliable to use the outlining approach.

Read my other article on taking notes and outlining as being the cure for writer's block at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2012/01/taking-notes-or-outlining-may-be-cure.html.

Read my other article on writing an article for your website as much like packaging a gift for a dear friend at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/writing-article-for-your-website-is.html.

Read my other article on good ideas about writing as a mental process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-ideas-about-writing-as-mental.html.

Read my other article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.