Pro-Tip: Purpose

29 Aug

Every text begins with a purpose which its author must decide.

  • What do you want a particular piece to achieve?
  • What do you want your reader to get from it?
  • What’s the finished product for in terms of the type of text and the value/meaning of what’s said?
    • Examples: If fiction, is it meant to entertain? If research, is it meant to inform, call to action, argue or influence, etc.?

Answer these questions before you start writing, and check in with yourself periodically to make sure every choice you make works toward that goal you first set. If you’ve veered away from the purpose, get back on track. If your purpose has changed (and it’s fine if it does–it happens), make sure the entire text follows suit. It can’t seem as if you jumped ship half way through to begin on some new and unrelated adventure. The takeaways here are consistency and usefulness. The entire text must work toward the same general end result, and every single item mentioned must have a reason for being there, a job to do in the context of that purpose. If not, chuck it.

Questions or comments, chime in below! Happy writing.

Amanda Marsico

-Editor, Proofreader, Red Ink Enthusiast

3 Responses to “Pro-Tip: Purpose”

  1. tomrains August 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Nice points here. To sum it up, I would say we need to be clear about our purpose. It’s so easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder! Look forward to your future posts.

    • marsicowritesite August 29, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks for reading! And yes, getting a clear purpose in mind will make the writing process a lot faster–less backtracking to clarify. The reader needs to be able to see the purpose in the piece so they don’t have the dreaded, “Why are they telling me this,” or, “That’s five minutes I’ll never get back,” moments. In this tip, though, I wanted to focus on making sure the author sees the purpose. If the writer doesn’t, how could we expect the reader to?

      • tomrains September 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

        Mmmm yes. Good good good point.

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