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Mondo Fuego™
I have a better regimen for composition:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:48am

Your approach seems to stress quantity over quality ... and, that's what's wrong with journalism today ... in fact, journalism died a couple of decades ago, reincarnated as sensationalism, characterized by poor grammar, awkward sentence structure, many times leaving the audience not knowing what the author was attempting to convey.

I have given a lot of thought to composition, and I have by no means achieved the ultimate, but I have attempted to construct a roadmap that might lead to better product, to wit:

By: Mondo Fuego™
March 1, 2011

Writing is definitely an acquired skill, but the steps are fairly straightforward:

1) Outline the topics and ideas that you want to present, then arrange the outline in preliminary logical sequence.

2) Turn the outline into sentences.

3) Turn the sentences into paragraphs.

4) Rearrange sentences and paragraphs into the order that you wish to present to the reader.

5) Edit the sentences and paragraphs to insure proper English, spelling and grammar. If you have used a particular word or phrase too many times, use your vocabulary, supplemented by a thesarus and/or dictionary to replace repeated words with synonyms, antonyms, etc. Avoid use of meaningless words like "very" and try to be more specific about degrees of quantification. Avoid redundancies, such as using "also" and "too" in the same sentence, or phrases like "patently obvious". Unless you are writing to a specific peer audience which has your same occupational skills and educational level, avoid jargon, and don't use obscure big words in an attempt to impress your reader ... remember, your mission is to inform, enlighten and entertain your reader. If certain passages or ideas are too complex as initially expressed, use the old Thoreau Principle: "Simplify". A good writer can be very eloquent using everyday English without being flashy, condescending or intimidating.

6) If you are making a verbal presentation of your material, it is a good idea to preface your talk by telling the audience what you are going to tell them, and to end by re-capping what you just told them. You might also want to hand out a copy of your speech ahead of time.

7) Put on your critical "reader hat" and read the material, while asking yourself the following questions:

a) Did I tell the reader what I wanted to say?

b) Did I convey my message in optimal sequence so that it flows smoothly instead of flopping and bumping around?

c) Did I leave anything out?

d) Is there any "excess baggage" that doesn't really add quality to the overall content? If so, consider shortening it or eliminating it altogether.

e) Was my presentation interesting?

f) If applicable, was my composition entertaining?

8) If possible, ask someone of competence to read your composition and get their critique and ideas.

9) Read once more, do your final editing, then publish.

10) After passage of sufficient time (week, month, year, decade, whatever), re-read your composition solely to determine if you would have done it any differently, knowing what you know now about composition skills ... this can possibly add a huge amount of synergy to future compositions.


Alternate take from my essay dated April 17, 2009:

My goal in writing is to compose in a manner such that readers can lose themselves and become me while they are reading my composition ... so they can experience what I experienced, as if they had been living that part of my life.

In pursuit of that goal, I must first dwell on something that is of interest to my audience.

Second, I must present my experience and/or thoughts in a logical sequence. If it is an experience that I am relating, it should be presented more or less in chronological order. If I am expounding on ideas, then it should flow in a comfortable framework, one of the best being: 1) Tell the audience what I am going to say; 2) Present the details of what I am going to say; and, 3) Tell them what I said.

Third, I should write in a manner and style commensurate with my audience, avoiding occupation-related jargon and haughty, cryptic words. After all, I want my audience to understand what I am relating without having to pick up a dictionary.

Fourth, I want to make my presentation as visual, tactile and lyrical as possible. I want the audience to be able to see and feel what I did, and I want there to be the quintessential aesthetic quality of beauty in the composition ... the "wow" factor ... a "qualia" (for those who do appreciate jargon) that transcends the mere words.

In order to achieve this goal, I try to jot down the loose details as quickly as possible so as not to forget anything. I may then let the notes sit a while, during which time my subconscious mind conjures up more relevant details which are subsequently added to the set of notes.

Then, I try to write sentences and paragraphs which document the various aspects of the experience or idea, focusing more on quantity than quality at this stage.
I then rearrange the sentences and paragraphs into a coherent pattern of flow.

Then, I begin the process of turning the raw wording into finely-phrased and carefully-polished gems of lyrical individual sentences which, in concert, form symphonic movement-like paragraphs. Every word is fussed over. Every sentence is analyzed for arrangement and flow, and function and fit within the paragraph.

When I have completed the above process, I then put on my "Quality Control" hat and review the entire composition, sometimes adding relevant content at the proper place, sometimes deleting material which in no way enhances the presentation, eliminating redundancy and wordiness, and simplifying where possible without losing any elegance.

The last, and most important step: I try to forget about myself, my experiences and my ideas, and I try to become my audience. I read the composition several times, each time focusing on a different aspect of quality: syntax and grammar; word quality; am I hearing what was intended to be said by the author? ... in the manner in which the author intended to say it?; do I feel the "wow" factor? During this stage, usually only a few words are changed here and there, but it makes all the difference in the effect. Hopefully, it turns what might otherwise be nice and ordinary into that which is stunningly beautiful.

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