Overcoming the Blank Screen
Whether you write with pen, typewriter, or computer, you will probably suffer a bout of writer’s block at some time during your writing life. To help my students get past the blank screen, I put together a prewriting guide. In the next few blog posts, I will explain the various sections in the guide and the importance of each. Topics that will be covered in the series include freewriting on the subject, developing the topic sentence or thesis statement, identifying an audience and purpose, and creating the working title and outline.
Write to Fit Project Planner
I discussed the Write to Fit Project Planner in a previous post. Once you have it filled out, it is time to move forward with the first stage of writing: gathering information. The Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide outlined below is the perfect form to help with that task.
Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide
This guide gets you started and gives you an organized direction, but your ideas are not written in stone. You may change any one or all of them as better ideas come to you. That is how the writing process works.
Freewriting: The Blurt
With the topic of your project in mind, set a timer and write for ten to fifteen minutes without stopping. One of the following questions may help you get started. What is your experience with the topic? What do you know or believe? How did you learn what you know? Why do you believe what you do? What people do you associate with the topic?
Explain your connection to the topic. Did someone you know teach you these things? Have you personally observed or experienced the examples given in the essay? Are you writing from experiences gained through a hobby, job, or course?
Describe the people you feel will most enjoy or benefit from your essay or article. Consider age, gender, marital status, educational level, profession, and any other pertinent identifying factors.
Do you want to inform, entertain, or persuade your audience?
Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement
What is the main point you want to make? If you are writing a single standalone paragraph, the main point will be given in the topic sentence. If you are writing an essay or longer work, your main point will be made in a thesis statement.
A working outline is a simple listing of the details that support your thesis in the order you think you will use them.
Review the information in your previous answers and create a sentence that will bring your essay to an effective conclusion. As with all other answers in this guide, this sentence may be changed as better words and ideas come to you.
You may download a copy of the Write to Fit Project Prewriting Guide and use it to organize your writing projects. Come back to read in depth explanations on each of the components in the guide in upcoming posts.
© 2015 Hazel Hart