For the final post in my series on "Championship Writing" by writing coach Paula LaRocque, I'll review her recommendations for "Fresh approaches." (This is only column, or chapter, 28 in her subtitle's list of "50 ways to improve your writing." Previous posts, such as the ones linked to highlighted words, have considered nine other columns/chapters.)
"Good writing -- writing that engages, enlightens and entertains -- is always in," writes LaRocque. "And writing that bores and bewilders is always out."
She writes that most good writing is craft in the media, not art. "It's not that art can't and doesn't happen in media writing -- it's that, as readers, editors and writers, we can't expect, demand or promise it."
When looking at (or for) fresh approaches, LaRocque asks us to "assume at the outset that good reporting forms the foundation of good newswriting. Dazzling writing without solid reporting yields only flash without light, form without content.
"Good writing gathers that invaluable detail," LaRocque adds.
Great details may be ironic connections, such as one that LaRocque points out as "bloodless" -- even though it's a patent number for someone's blood.
To freshen your writing, choose a detail or symbol, or "an unexpected but certainly not unrelated set of eyes," suggests LaRocque.
But that takes digging, doesn't it? Well, yes. "Digging" is another way to think of "reporting." It takes digging, and observing what is "dug up," to reveal useful, original, fresh details.
"The right detail is invaluable to fresh writing," writes LaRocque.
So what is the right detail?
I found mine for this post, and for the series, when I finished this section of the book. It ends with the words "There are as many original approaches as there are original writers."
So go ahead and be yourself -- but do it Seriously.
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.