I edit IG's technical blog. Here is a list of guidelines for writing articles that I've shared with my developing writers.
- Can you describe the point of your article in one interesting sentence?
- Identify the reader. Who are you writing for? Why do they care?
- Start well. Get their attention.
- Be interesting and enthusiastic.
- Don't be too formal or too chatty.
- Be specific - details are often more interesting than abstract concepts.
- Prefer simpler words.
- Omit needless words. It is very important to basically avoid fluff words because they are rather empty and sometimes a little distracting. Vigorous writing is concise.
- Don't ramble. Don't repeat yourself, even if you really value your opinion. Did I mention the rambling? Less is more.
- Prefer shorter sentences and paragraphs.
- Use the active voice.
- Be easy to read. Flow. Tell a story.
- Read your writing out loud.
- End well. Summarise and conclude.
- Edit ruthlessly. Take a break. Repeat.
- Spell Czech.
- Read the Strunk's "Elements of Style", often.
I've worked with writers of varying abilities, and have found that the biggest obstacle is not lack of talent, but of self-belief.
You can write. Trust me.
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