Monthly Archives: March 2020

The Art of Article Writing

Computer keyboard with art and light flares leaking out between keys.

Some writers can put art into article writing by uplifting a potentially dry subject and inviting readers into a short tale woven with facts that entices the audience below the fold of the electronic page and through to the end of the piece.

These artists certainly know people don’t have much time for reading in today’s barrage of information bytes. Their palette of tools includes the usual limited word counts and the use of sub-headers, small paragraphs, simple but effective words and imagery, and an upfront explanation in the first one or two paragraphs to inform the reader what the article is about right upfront. Yet the enthusiasm these writers have for the subject leaks into every sentence, holding reader attention to the last period.

I admire that.

Sure, it’s great to craft a fantasy plot that can easily hold together a 100k book, but if I cannot work on a small scale and write an article that lets others discover something fascinating, learn something new, or open their eyes to another line of thought in nonfiction, how can I hope to entertain them with fantasy?

But articles and storytelling are two different things, right?

Well, yes and no.

Just as there are formulas for writing a good article nowadays, there are formulas for solid storytelling. Solid arcs and sub arcs, grammatical and technical writing skills, hero journeys, character evolutions, action and reaction moments – these are some of the tools needed, and there are a staggering number of books and online advice blogs that expound on others.

But the passion – the love of sharing something, making it exciting, offering a good tale well told – should burst out between the written lines and grab a reader no matter if the subject is fact or fantasy, or takes 800 words or a magnitude more to impart.

I work with people who have that passion, and their writing frequently astounds me. I hope to learn all I can from them so I can do it easily on my own someday. And I anticipate it’s more of a journey than destination kind of learning.

Have a great month, crickets! Thanks for listening.