Whether you’re writing an article, report, short story or novel, you need to start by planning your content. This means doing the following:
- Imagine you’re explaining your main themes and ideas to a friend. Then write everything down in a Word document.
- Ask yourself: ‘what is the central idea?’, ‘what direction is my text going to take?’, ‘what do I want readers to be left with when they’re done reading?’
- List your main themes and ideas.
- Prioritise them in main and sub-categories.
- Organise those categories following a logical arc.
- Put aside the document and review it a couple of days later.
- Be prepared to review and edit this document throughout the whole writing process, as your content will inevitably change and evolve.
- Don’t panic if you are re-organizing your whole planning document. You’re allowed to change your mind! [Well, as long as you don’t change it too often, in which case, you need to come back to your original questions (2.)]
- Enjoy the process! It might not look like it, but you’re already writing!