So the great challenge for the writer is to then create content. By content I mean relevant and up-to-date information. The question then is what makes content content? A lot of young writers may not be well conversant with content creation. But the good news is that it can be learnt.
So what makes good content creation?
By now we all know writing involves more than constructing sentences and being grammatically correct. It’s about telling a story. Put another way, what makes a story worth telling?
Previously, I hope it became clear that it takes a lot to make one a successful writer. A successful writer is one whose writing interests readers. One whose writing makes readers look forward to hearing from. And as you can see, those people should and must be good content creators.
These are the people who know their voices and have their audiences. In essence, writers are by virtue men and women of the people. Without a clear understanding of your audience, you’re bound to fail in communicating clearly to them.
Whatever lip service they pay to “understanding our readers,” lazy writers—as all of us are at times—behave as if readers bring to a document minds as blank as the empty page. In fact, reading is a complex intermingling of the information the writer provides with what the reader already knows. Without the latter, the new information would be meaningless. –PLI’s Treatise on Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing
What stands out then, is that it can be cruel to assume readers know nothing. To be honest, some readers even know more about certain topics than writers themselves. Further complicating content creation. How do you impress people who know more about something than you? Remember, all writing has to do with helping people to wise up.
So how should we go about content creation? Well I think the following pointers will prove resourceful. What you already know plus what I know can be of great help.
First of all, provide a focus
At the very beginning of all writing, it is important to show the theme or targeted direction of details. Writers should help readers to familiarize themselves with what they intent to communicate to them. Readers should never have to be distracted from the main thing by the disorganization of details. Normally, this forms an introductory part of all writing. The trick is to link what readers already know with what they are about to read.
Outline a clear structure
PLI’s Treatise further suggests that, if readers are to absorb and remember complex information, they have to be able to divide it into parts and understand how the parts connect. In other words, they have to see a structure. And they have to see it not gradually and retrospectively, but quickly and easily, from the start. Before they wade into the details, they want the comfort of knowing that a structure lies ahead, not chaos.
Readers absorb information best if its form (its structure and sequence) mirrors its substance (the logic of an analysis, the plot of a story, the theme of an argument).
Though I in no way encourage adherence to default structuring or organization. Organization has to be brilliant. Remember what we were taught back in school on composition writing? Paragraphing and punctuation. Most people still try to follow the tried-and-tested. That we ‘literature lovers’ have a name for it. We call it “default organization.”
In the end, all writing requires a great deal of intellectual labor.