Whether you’re writing an article, report, short story or novel, you need to start by planning your content. This means doing the following:

  1. Imagine you’re explaining your main themes and ideas to a friend. Then write everything down in a Word document.
  2. 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?’
  3. List your main themes and ideas.
  4. Prioritise them in main and sub-categories.
  5. Organise those categories following a logical arc.
  6. Put aside the document and review it a couple of days later.
  7. Be prepared to review and edit this document throughout the whole writing process, as your content will inevitably change and evolve.
  8. 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.)]
  9. Enjoy the process! It might not look like it, but you’re already writing!


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