Scott Keyser, one of the UK’s top writing skills trainers, offers the second of his tips in a series of ten. TOP TIP #2: Honour the three steps of the writing process - Plan, draft, edit.
That may sound obvious, but many people try to do all three at once: they start drafting without planning, develop their thoughts as they go and do some half-hearted editing. Then they hit a roadblock. They down tools and start planning properly, but they’ve wasted precious time.
Planning delivers three benefits:
1. Speed: you save time in the form of fewer drafts and no re-writes;
2. Effectiveness: you get the results you want;
3. Confidence: you control the process.
Only when you’ve nailed your plan should you start drafting. And your job here is to just get the text down, fast. This is your raw material; it will be rough and ready, with gaps and placeholders, but if you’ve planned properly it will be a good start.
When you’ve done your first draft, pull on your editor’s green eyeshade and start checking and editing it. This will turn your first draft into powerful prose.
The best writers treat the three writing steps as structured, distinct and deliberate activities, each of which demands a different set of skills.
Top Tip #3 next week is about how to plan properly…
Looking to learn how to use language to get better results from your writing — whether that’s to win a bid, sell an idea or change someone’s mind? Join Scott Keyser in Central London for a full-day workshop on 18th March 2016.
Find out more and book your place here