The first process of my writing is to figure out what I want to write about. I brainstorm about the things that I am passionate about. People are my number one priority. For some people, financial success is the goal. For some others, it can be as simple as a diet book to lose weight. For me, however, it’s all about how to understand the actions of the people around me. I ask a lot of questions and analyze my hypothesis over and over. Believe it or not, my conclusions modify over time, as I begin to learn more about myself, and about other people in my life.
We have a unique opportunity today with social media to be persuasive in our beliefs. We have the ability to get the written word out more than ever before. There’s Facebook, WordPress Blogs, My Space if you’re older, Snap Chat, Websites, commentary on articles, contacting Editors who produce magazines or newspapers, and a whole eclectic group of opportunities. Our voice can be heard. Do you have something you want to say? Do you have a teacher or a principal that you’d like to say something to? Maybe something you would like changed? Maybe something that you don’t think is fair? Writing is a great way to do that.
There are many Elements that create Effective Persuasive Writing. Each element takes specific steps to generate the expected outcome. “What does this mean?”
One element is what is your position?: Writers need to clearly state their positions on their topics in order to persuade their readers. If a writer is not clear about his/her beliefs on the topic, s/he stands little chance of convincing someone else to read the material. In addition, some writers collaborate and write together. When writers collaborate on a persuasive piece of writing, all involved must agree to support the same position. Sometimes writers even take a position they do not personally agree with and work to explain that position.
A very important element is Research/Attracting Attention to Audience: Writers need to adjust their writing based on their audience. This is called Genre. My genre is young adult/women’s literary work. This is especially true when the goal of the writing is to persuade the reader to take action. The writing style will be formal when the audience is a person in a position of authority and casual when the audience is a friend or family member. My work is in first person dialog with a narrative. A narrative for those who do not know, is when someone is telling the story. It combines a first person point of view with a third person point of view. So, my work is from the narrator, (me) and then the characters in the book.
It’s important to note that if you write a book that takes place back in the 1980’s, there are unique identifiers that cannot be in the work. One of those is cell phones. Believe it or not many of us didn’t have a cell phone until the early 1990’s. Every writer makes sure that their story is believable if it is fiction and if not it is outlines with a ton of facts to support their story.
Non-Fiction Factual Support: In order to be convincing, a persuasive piece of writing needs to include factual details. Some factual support is (data, anecdotes, interviews, information from other sources such as newspapers and books, and so forth). It’s best to use our own experiences and observations as factual support for their persuasive letters.
Effective Word Choice: Persuasive language is strong but appropriate. Writers need to choose words that are also descriptive and specific. An excellent example of effective word choice is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Ethos: Ethos is the credibility to write. Discuss what gives a particular writer credibility to write a persuasive piece of writing. Doctors are credible, and degreed professionals are credible. In my opinion, the best Ethos of writing is experience. How does one get experience? By reading, the practice of writing, the practice of sharing your writing. People will comment, criticize and all those things will improve the way that you write.
A caption from some of my writing:
I love to fish so when I wrote this, the people who are the closest to me understood exactly how I felt when I wrote it. Anyone who doesn’t know me, paused for a minute to think about the wisdom in it. “I fell hook line and sinker for the illusion that I could be happy if a man would take care of me. What I learned is that a man is important in the lives of my children, but only I am responsible for the moments of joy that bring my whole life a sense of happiness. When I stopped chasing fairytales, I stopped my unrealistic expectations; thereby taking away my disappointment.”
Some of my life lessons that I write about. Having lived a very colorful life, I will tell you I have a lot of these. “There will always be someone who wants to step on you to elevate themselves. They will harm you without regard to the consequences. Believe me when I tell you that their actions say more about what they cannot be, than it does about who you are, what you can do, or what you’ve done. Their actions are about their inadequacy not yours.”
My writing process? One day when I was 40 years old after having spent a lifetime of wanting to be a writer, but never really knowing how to do it. I began to collect all the journals of all the years I would sit down to try and organize my thoughts. I figure out how to chronologically put all the pages on the floor. Then I picked several stories that could make one collective story and I began to use my own experiences as a timeline. As I got more into the writing, I developed characters, and a mystery to my work and added a whole lot of embellishments to make the story worth reading. I exaggerated the stories, and added people to the time. It’s the same kind of process that Steven King uses. He writes fictional horror stories. I write about a woman who is trying desperately to learn how to be happy. My stories are not truthful in any way nor do they reveal what my life was or is. They’re just stories based on the real social norms that I went through all those years.
Wanna take a writing ride with me? Write down on a the index card, a character that you want to write about. Picture that character in your mind. It can be a superhero, a real semi that transforms, or a cat. It doesn’t matter. It’s easy to write what’s good about someone but write one of the character traits that are bad. Now write down an even worse character trait. Then write a third one that worse than the other two. Now, if you can make a reader fall in love with that character despite they see evil, that is when you know you have a fully developed character, because none of us are perfect. We all make bad choices and good choices. That’s what writing a character is about, or should be about. All perspectives of that character.
There’s a book called Eat’s Shoots and Leaves that explains in a hilarious outline what great book or article grammar looks like. Today it’s a casual world, and some of you may take texting as real writing. It’s not. Real writing has real words like you use in Language Arts. They have the ability to draw a reader in, and make them cry or make them laugh. They can help them think or change the way they do things. Editing makes those emotions possible. That’s why it’s so important.
Today there are all kinds of ways to publish. A person can write some work and then see it in less than a month later. It can be that easy.