Skills Every Technical Writer Needs

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In the field of writing, there’s a long list of styles that many writers cannot differentiate from one another. There’s the copy writing, creative writing, PR writing and this article, the technical writing among all these, we can consider technical writing as the one with the widest scope because it is not all about writing. If you’re planning to work as a technical writer, knowledge on proper tone is not enough and you will have to gain more than basic knowledge about various software and tools. Furthermore, you should also ensure you have all these skills to keep that technical writing career within the perimeter.

Write in a more detailed manner

Unlike creative writing and what most people call today as blogging, technical writing calls for more details and more information. Initially, the style of writing depends on the topic but there are many aspects that serve as general rule for this writing style. You should know how to provide lots of information in such a way that the readers won’t feel overstuffed. You should know which information must be mentioned first and how to link the next information. Writing in a detailed manner is theoretically about writing from the core to the outmost surface of your topic flawlessly.

Break the wall

There is a very strong barricade that separates the readers from the writers and only great writers can break this barricade. As mentioned, your contents and articles should contain detailed and thorough information, more than everything that the readers need. However, you should also ensure that your audience will really read your work from start to finish. With technical writing, there’s a tendency for readers to put down the article because it sounds boring, compared to creative writing which is more conversational. But of course, creative writing doesn’t contain much information. So to make yourself an effective and a great technical writer, you must know how to write a detailed but engaging content.

Know your tools

As mentioned, technical writing is not all about words. It’s also your job to add media to your writing thus, photos, videos and slideshows. At this point, you will be using tools and software like CorelDraw and Photoshop. There are many other tools available and you should familiarize all these to come up with an inviting photo or video for your readers. You should also know the appropriate image and video for your topic and this aspect can be quite challenging at some point.

Practice the art of persistence

Did you know that technical writing takes more time to me mastered compared to other writing styles? You may think I should’ve put PR or public relations writing but now, it is technical writing. There’s so much to learn and before you can consider yourself such kind of writer, you should guarantee to many that you’re prepared for the big task. Whether or not it’s a full-time job for you, the necessity of different writing facts and software usage remain present. But with the art of persistence and patience, and the set of skills in this content, learning this writing style will be quite easy.

Technical Writing Characteristics

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When we say technical writing, most people assume it’s about technical topics only. Well, not exactly. Technical writing is defined as a writing style in which contents are written in a more formal and concise manner. The content of technically-written articles and creatively-written articles are pretty much the same, although technical content follow a specific format and guidelines. Most people say this writing style is quite relevant whether workwise or school-wise and they are correct. Having the skills to write in this particular style is something worth bragging about. But first, you must know the main characteristics of technical articles.

Precision

Because this is technical contents we’re talking about, there will be more information to inject in the article than any other informal writing style. On that note, it’s a must for a technical content to be written as precise as possible. Formal writing reveals even the smallest mistake in the most obvious way and if you misspelled a jargon term or of you lack one zero in a specific amount, that’s already a major problem. Also you have to be precise on the information you’re giving. Less maybe’s and probably’s and other similar words. After all, technical writing is to be written in firm tone with quality information and sure facts.

Clarity

The main problem with technical writing is maintaining the clarity of the content all throughout. Oftentimes, writers tend to insert so much information about the subject that they end up blurring the message. Sure, Afghan war is a broad topic and quite interesting to write about. However, you cannot include all information you want especially if you’re dealing with word limits. Thus, be sure to create a clear outline of what to include in your article and ensure that the flow from one issue to another is smooth-sailing.

Easy reading

Technical writing may be composed of jargons and mostly deep English, but that doesn’t mean you will have to stick with that rule. Despite the fact that you’re writing in formal tone, you should still ensure that your work is reader-friendly, or else it will just go to waste. If you have no choice but to use medical jargons for instance, you can provide a short sentence or two explaining what the jargon is so that your readers can easily follow. But again, make it a point to apply clarity in the entire content and inject all your word and terminology explanations in the most natural way possible.

Updated

You don’t want to write something in formal tone with a subject has been all over the internet for 2 months already. That’s quite long and delay writing is next to writing trash. This is a worst case scenario when you’re assigned to write in formal tone. Be sure that all your articles and output are updated and composed of the latest news. If that’s not possible, you should at least include information that is not always mentioned on the internet. This way, you won’t keep your readers bored and instead, they’ll be on the totally opposite mood.

Challenges of Writing a Book

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Writing is one of the most complicated tasks one has to do. Whether that’s writing an essay or a poem or an article, it’s just not easy unlike how it looks. Whether you’re doing it on a regular basis or doing it simply because you need to, there’s technically no such thing as getting used to writing in the sense that you don’t experience difficulty anymore. In fact, the more often you write the more complex it gets. So just imagine you’re writing a book. Just imagine if it has been your big dream and you’ve finally decided to make that step of starting. Have you ever wondered how difficult it can get? Probably not, because the only thought that usually comes to mind is, “how hard can it be? My mind is already overflowing with ideas.” And that’s exactly where the challenge starts.

Overflowing ideas

If you think the abundance of ideas is always a great sign that you’re writing a good book, better think again. What writers often misunderstand is that ideas can serve both as inspiration and as danger – too much of it is great danger. The tendency when you have so many thoughts in you is that you have difficulties collecting them. You know you want to gather them all and put them into words but the more you try doing this, the more your story becomes a complete mess. And then, it’s not a story anymore. Lucky you if you’re able to rearrange the ideas and somehow make a good point in your work, but not all writers get such luck. Thus, it’s best if you develop techniques to pacify your screaming mind and segregate the must-write and the maybe-write-later ideas. That way, you can lower the complexity of writing.

Repeats, three-peats, more-peats

This happens more often than writers notice, and that is why proofreaders and editors are needed. Repeating an idea from chapter one in many other following chapters will do only one thing in your book –ruin it. Repeating words, especially adjectives and adverbs too often will only show one thing – you don’t have a wide vocabulary, and that’s not a good thing to show in a book. These repeats challenge can be difficult to beat. Keep in mind that there are lines that CAN be repeated and these are the lines that stay in the readers’ minds. However, you should know how to choose the proper lines and ensure they will truly strike your target audience.

Lack of time to sit and write

There is such thing? Yes, of course! 24 hours is not enough for writers and technically, they don’t literally write for 24 hours. If you’re writing a book and working a full-time job, that’s one big challenge for you. If you’re writing a book and a full-time mom and housewife, that’s quite the same challenge. Writers need more than 8 hours of writing and what makes this a challenge is that such hours don’t need to be continuous. Sometimes you want to write while you’re in the middle of preparing lunch, and other times you want to write while you’re in a meeting. Despite being busy, the minds of writers continue to work on what they’re currently writing about.

I’ve Finished a Book, Now What?

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So, you’ve written a book, and most probably the next step is to publish it. In case you weren’t warned, publishing books these days have become easier compared to many decades ago but at the same time it’s also harder than it used to. Publishing your work requires an over dosage of patience and handfuls of techniques and wise methods to get someone notice your book. Luckily, the internet is there to help you in these steps and if you just spend enough time with this process, you will surely find your work in bookstores.

Contact affordable editors

Every book requires editing, or at least being read by someone professional. This step if often skipped by people who can’t wait to publish their work. Apparently, you cannot publish it unless it’s written in the most flawless yet creative way possible. If you know someone who is great in English and creative writing, like a school professor, you may want to ask him to lend you and your book a few days. If not, you may hire an editor to check your work. This is often the initial expenditure independent authors encounter but it’s always worth it.

Consider online marketing

Just like any product, writing a book requires a target market. Did you write it for teens? Or for mothers? Or for adults from the war? There’s a long list of options but a shorter list of answer and you must know those answers. Once you’ve figured out your target market, online marketing is the best way to gain exposure. Provide a shorter version of your book, something like a manuscript or summary. Show this to your target market and see if they like it. Most writers today and aspiring authors use the influence of social media thus, Facebook and Twitter. They create blogs and advertise their work through social media. There are also many websites like Wattpad that are designed for writers. But just keep in mind to provide only ample amount of words from your book and do not expose everything, unless you changed your mind and you want to give it out for free.

Get ready for survival

Survival might be a strong word but it has to be used in this aspect. The moment you finished writing the book and the editors are done reviewing it and the social media has also done its part, this is the time when your battle for survival begins. There are so many great books out there and it’s not easy to compete with all these, regardless if they’re from new authors or not. If we’re talking about e-books, the challenge is keeping and increasing your online supporters. If we’re talking about physical books, the challenge is staying in bookshelves of different stores for a long time. Both of these are survival battles and only brave writers prepare themselves for it. Make yourself a brave writer – that’s a must.

Writing a book or a poem or even a song is amazingly self-fulfilling. You don’t need others to say it’s good because you yourself can tell. However, if you reach the point when you want to sell your work, you should know the tips and tricks of the next steps.

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?

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They say prices and rates are confidential, but with the freelance work getting more and more viral, sharing this information can’t be avoided. There are tons of blogs out there stating rates and prices and some even share where they work, what they write, how to ensure you get paid right, and many more fun but factual information. Freelance writing is one of the best jobs a person could ever have. As long as you get to write in decent English and you’re not lazy to do research, you can start on this kind of job right away. But of course, writing is not easy and more than that, it’s not for everybody. Nevertheless, the freedom to try is always well, free. So in case you’re confused, perhaps knowing the amount you can possibly earn will help you decide whether freelance writing is something worth your time and effort or not.

Generally, the title of this content is very, very broad. There are many fields of freelance writing and these fields have their own rates, if not the same. For instance, if you write for web2.0 sites and private blog properties for a private client, your pay varies a lot. Some clients pay as much as $5 per 500 word article while other pay somewhere around $3. If you’re planning to write for an online magazine, the rate depends on the niche. It’s often more expensive if you’re writing for a medical and law types of sites. News and entertainment also pay high rates. How are these rates computed? There’s no definite answer to that. Of course, word-count matters but that’ not the only basis. Expert freelancers say the website one is writing for plays a great role to the rate is id being paid. If a website has been in the business for many years already and if it’s one popular site, you will be paid more than enough. For instance, there are sites that pay $30-$50 per post usually 500 words or more. Those articles and posts chosen as the site’s feature content gets higher pay somewhere around $150 per post and that’s really not bad at all. Currently, the most common method of determining a writer’s pay is through word count because many websites pay per word, like $1 per word. Hourly rates also exist but this is only implemented when a writer works for a private client and not for different websites.

Writing style matters a lot. PR or press release and news writing are often paid more and these are usually found in journals like Wall Street Journal and LA Times Opinion. For creative blogs and websites, most content are written in a conversational manner without compromising the quality and creative is often paid just a little less compared to formal. If you’re still in the starting point of freelance writing, it’s advisable to go for private clients because many of them are patient enough to teach writers couple of tips and tricks. The rates for this vary from $2-$10 per 500 words. You should also know how to choose your clients and where to find them in the first place. While freelance writing job opportunities increase, scammers also do.

Why Creative Writing Is Better

creative writing 1In the realm of writing, there are many styles you can encounter, but the two most common are creative writing and formal writing. These two are also rivals for a long time but today, most people – both readers and writers prefer creative writing. In fact, online magazines and websites and private clients also prefer creative writing over the usual formal robot-sounding posts; that is despite the fact that search engine rank-increasing techniques are applied. On that note, writers and aspiring writers are advised to extract more of their creative juices and put it into words.

Easier to read & understand

Initially, the main reason why creative writing is preferred in a reader’s point of view is that such content are easier to read and understand. Most contents in creative form are not filled with jargons and deep English terms. And if there’s no choice but to include such words, writers fine ways to indirectly translate such words just enough for readers to get a grasp of what it means without ruining the whole idea of the content. Creative writing in terms of books is also highly supported by bookworms because the ideas are easier to understand, if you compare them to books written in formal tone like those discussing historical memoirs.

More engaging

A domino effect – since creative writing style is easier to read and easier to understand, readers tend to be more engaged in the entire write-up. Such style also makes it easier for writers to gather new readers and keep loyal ones. Through this form of writing, writers get to convey even the most sensitive topic in such a way that readers won’t feel uncomfortable or lost in the way. Humor and jokes doesn’t always have to be injected although they may be helpful, depending on what you’re writing about. But the fact that creativity is the main concept of the content, plus the great quality of writing, keeping your audience read it up to the last word won’t be difficult.

Easier to write and convey ideas

The transition between one idea to another is far easier when you’re doing creative writing. You can add a couple of words and the next thing you know you can already discuss your next idea in line. Whereas with formal writing, you should ensure everything is smooth and flawless because it’s easier to spot even the smallest mistake. The former allows writers to play with different ideas about one topic without losing the main thought of the entire article. Oftentimes, a topic can be complex and boring but creative writing eases such boredom. It allows wordsmiths to tell an important yet uninteresting issue in such a way that readers will love to indulge in.

In the realm of freelance writing, you never run out of instances when you have to choose between different paths. Some who are already good in formal writing choose such path but if you’re unsure or if you’re still in the starting line, it’s a lot safer to go for creative writing for it is easier to learn and appreciation from readers comes at a faster pace.

Necessary Parts Of A Good Story

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Back in younger school days, parts of a story is defined as the theme, the climax, the characters, and all other literal and obvious aspects of it. Aside from those, there are more parts of a story that are not mere parts but are highly necessary. A story won’t be good enough without these fragments but equally, injecting them requires enough knowledge on how to do bending and flipping tricks. This way, you can easily include additional parts into your book without messing up the whole story-line.

Conflict

Regardless of the story you’re writing, even if that’s a children’s book, conflict should be present. This adds challenge in the book which readers either engross themselves with or try to solve by making suggestions. Have you ever found yourself talking to your book, managing it like you’re directing a movie? Have you ever experienced telling one character to do this instead of that so that he’ll be safe, for instance? All these and more are caused by conflicts and without it; your book is going to miss so much. Furthermore, conflicts are said to be one of the few reasons why readers continue to read the book though they didn’t like it in the beginning. If you start a slow buildup of a conflict in the first few chapters, chances are your book will be read up to the last page.

Resolution

Of course, if there’s a conflict there should be a resolution. Don’t write something troubled and negative and then finish the book by leaving those issues hanging. While this is a nice trick to try and it gives the readers a clue that your book will have a sequel, keep in mind that there’s a big difference between hanging endings and conflicts left behind. Always make it a point to solve all conflicts you created to all characters.

Passion

Why write when you’re not passionate about it. During the start of your book-writing journey, you may find yourself passionate about it. However, it’s every writer’s typical problem to feel uninterested of the story they’re working on and they might end up throwing it away. For a good story that will make the readers experience book hangover, writing with passion is a must, like writing with a pen full of ink. The desire and hunger for words to be written on paper is your key to creating a highly emotional and original content. Those books that won’t leave your mind even after reading it are written with passion and this fact is something you must bring along in any writing journey you may have.

Structured point of view

Point of view is always part of a story, but what makes it a failure is when it is not written in a well-structured manner. A good story is something that is written in a familiar writing style and one that includes strong structure of the main point of view and all other aspects. if you’re not familiar with writing styles and tones, worry not because as long as you know your point of view, you won’t be lost.

Writing For The Kids

generalChildren’s book is one interesting piece of literature to work on. Interesting in the sense that it’s incredibly difficult and yet very challenging and creative at the same time. Wondering what’s the difficulty in writing for children? The answer is there mere fact that you have to go down to their level and yet be a little wiser. Kids need books that are easy to understand and that speak their own language. It’s advisable to avoid long words or complicated words that are not commonly introduced in their age bracket. Furthermore, writers that aim to provide reading materials for children are advised to follow the generic yet useful guidelines to ensure their work will be loved by their market.

Words and images should jive

Having the words and the pictures separately seem to be pretty basic, but when you create the book and fuse them together, that’s when the problem rises. One common mistake in children’s picture books is that the images don’t coordinate or jive with the words. If you’re talking about a rat that was stuck out of his house because he didn’t went home when his mom told him to, you might want to choose a picture of the young rat outside instead of the mother rat inside the house. It’s also an artistic idea to provide another angle of the story though images as this lets the children’s’ creative juices working on.

Use the good tone and good words

Even if the story is about a bad dwarf invading a kingdom, you should tell the story in a good and positive tone. This way, you’re creating a good story where good and bad happen, just like in the real world but you’re not polluting a child’s brain. Aside from the tone of the story, you should also be extra careful in choosing your words. Repeating words is bad for the child’s vocabulary but so is using complex words. It’s not advisable to use harsh words. Make it a point to stick with child-friendly terms even when you’re convening a somewhat negative idea.

Don’t always stick with the rules

As mentioned earlier, it’s best for writers to stick with the basic guidelines of writing children’s books to ensure they stay on the right path all throughout the process of writing. However, there are instances when not all these guidelines are to be followed. There are some that are essential like the two mentioned above but some writers prefer to write in their own style according to their own taste and their individual perception of childhood. This can be risky at some point but it’s also beneficial because your audience gets to see another angle of children’s books, and that’s all thanks to you.

Parents never get tired of training teaching their kids the importance of books over tablets and mobile phones. When kids are a young as 3 years, it’s easier to give them books instead of gadgets. However, when they grow older, kids tend to ask for gadgets and leave their books in their bedroom. Writers can help make a change by providing engaging picture books that teach quality lessons kids will easily grasp.

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Writing

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The title may sound lame and you must have found thousands of articles online that talk about improving your writing skills. But have you ever found a technique that really helped you? Probably not, because if you already have then you’re not reading this article anymore. Well, this might just be the last article you’ll read on improving writing because this covers all the fundamentals of writing.

Stick with three

If you’re writing a typical article of 500 words, it’s wise if you follow the rule of 3. That would be 3 subtitles and/or 3 bullet points. If under one subtitle you wish to inject bulleted ideas, cut it down to 3 bullets only. This is a handy trick to keep your readers loving your work initially because it’s easier to read. Who wants to read long paragraphs anyway when there are contents that are straightforward and yet equally informative?

Keep it short

Whether that’s paragraph length or sentence length we’re talking about, keeping it short is always a must. Stick to 4 to 5 sentences per paragraph because lengthy paragraphs can look too tiring to read. You should also check your sentences. If you’ve written a sentence that’s already 3 lines in MS Word, you might want to consider cutting it into two or three. Long sentences are not healthy or any form of writing, unless that’s a formal one like contracts.

Remove the fillers

Let’s admit it guys, once in our life as a freelance writer, we’ve written articles filled with fillers or those that are useless and can be erased. These fillers only exist because we want to reach our minimum word limit immediately and the tendency is we repeat one idea over and over again. There are two things about fillers that make you a bad writer – one, it controls your creativity to think more of what to write and two; it decreases your vocabulary and knowledge about the subject.

Consider tools and online courses

Yes and yes to this! There are many tools provided by different software companies and these tools are designed for writers and freelancers. So whether you’re writing a novel or working as a freelance writer, you will surely find a toll that fits your needs. However, make it a point to use such tools wisely and don’t always rely on the corrections and help it gives. Grasp such corrections and sooner than you know, you’re already doing all improvements without its help. There are also free online course on different aspects of writing you can try. From the Basic English grammar to technical writing, many are provided free of cost.

Build and outline

If you’re new to the field of writing, it’s advisable to build an outline to spare you from writing off-topic information. Sometimes we get too carried away that instead of writing about interior design, you end up writing about the stunning bed you found in an interior design website. With an outline of your article, you can easily determine the next sub-topic to write about.