Many writers gloss over the organization process because “it has nothing to do with writing.” It is all the work and time spent before you write, and for those who tend to procrastinate and don’t know how to organize, it can be a scary proposition. But if you ignore the basics of organizing, your written piece can lose its way.
Organization does not have to involve a lot of time and effort, and the end result can be worth the time you put into it. It will create a picture that appeals to the reader because it has a feeling of smoothness and completeness.
So where do you begin?
Think about your subject as thoroughly as possible. Think about the information you’ve gathered and everything you know about the subject. Think about the major and minor points.
Now consider the theme of your piece. This is the central component of what you plan to write. You may have had this idea in place before gathering all the facts.
- Does the theme still hold? Or should it change now that you know what you know?
- Should you tackle the theme from a different angle?
You can present the same theme or point in slightly different ways, which could vary according to your goal and audience.
Now go back to your material. Evaluate your facts to see how they back up your theme. Determine which facts or information are important to developing your theme.
- Which facts will strengthen your theme?
- Which facts will distract the reader from your theme?
Organize your information into two categories:
- Which facts are vital to your theme?
- Which facts are related to your theme?
Keep the vital information, and put aside the related facts should you need them for support.
Arrange your vital information based on order of importance or impact. The most important piece of information should become the centrepiece. It will become the hook, or the lead, for your theme. You will begin writing with this most important fact to create the greatest impact.
Now determine how you will conclude your piece. Base the conclusion on your important facts and support your lead statement while maintaining the theme. You want to leave the reader with a positive feeling at the end (perhaps a call to action).
Finally, organize the body of the writing. An outline is a great way to organize your thoughts. List your main points, and examine them to ensure that they support your theme and opening statement. The outline should guide your writing, but it should not lead the writing, as it can change should you find a better way of organizing your points. Think about how it all works together to support your goal, and how it will flow from point to point.
Now that you’ve organized your material and thoughts, you can get down to writing.
Do you need help with organizing your writing – or do you need a professional writer? Let me know – contact @ davidgargaro.com.