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Writing for an Audience
Introduce your Subject
In writing a lens you are producing a story to either engross audiences or turn them away. The introduction must interest and draw them into it to read more. Squids love to write so why not consider your audience when putting down your thoughts?
What is your story about? This needs to be put here up front, it's what the introduction is about and why it is at the top and not the bottom of the page. Also consider to inform on why you are writing it, how you came by the material, when did it happen and who does it involve? Treat your audience to the facts and then develop your story around it. What they read here must be all good to attract them into the lens,
I am a giant squid and have a few LOTD's so if you want help setting out your lens you can email me for help.
Publishing to the Web
Your lens is a web page and when it is published, with your name on it, it reflects your values, personality and deep feelings. Even if your work is very short on detail these things are revealed about you.
If the lens is short on input it demonstrates that your knowledge about the subject is also short on research, knowledge and good writing so you turn readers off as soon as they see the content. If, on the other hand, you write forever and go over and over certain points (repetitive writing) then you are wafting on and it will not be worth reading.
Short, concise and direct to the point sentences will win you a greater audience.
Remember that you are establishing yourself as an author and will quickly be branded as someone who is worthwhile or someone not worth reading. When working in Squidoo it is far better to belong to the former than the latter group.
Pictures are also important. Try to get some great shots that speak volumes about your lens. The image shown here was used by me on my lens about ghosts and ships. It has a whif of mystery, suggests a boat struggling in rough waters, and the ghost of one through its vagueness. This adds an aire of expectation.
The next thing is originality.
What do you think originality means to a lens?
Do you write about things that comes to you or follow someone else's idea.
Originality is the Key
You may find you are passionate about certain subjects but do not know enough to write with authority about them. That is where research comes in
A good writer's office or study is filled with books, calendars, notes, magazines and anything else from which research can be conducted. The library is also a good resource for things you may not know.
Try writing essays on subjects you are interested in and then researching through the local library for information to support your thoughts. You will then have to read a few books, take notes, even photocopy pages so you have them as reference. You might also buy some books relevant to the subject.
My own lenses are usually focused on material that has been researched in this way. You might notice that many of them deal with religious and language origins and the past 25 years has been spent researching these subjects. Also a Bachelor degree in archaeology and anthropology with linguistics and philosophy included gave me the confidence to know that what was shown to me in visions is proven in the academic world.
Not everyone is capable of doing a degree but you can do research and write essays in the same manner as if you were.
The other thing that is worthwhile is to get a friend or relative to read your work and if they report that they cannot follow your argument then you need to address their criticism and not rubbish them for it. Its the same if you put a lens in the Critique forum or get a squid to check it. Take note of the criticism and address it. This is a great way to improve your writing.
Content is also Key
Don't expect to get good reports for lenses with 1 or 2 modules of text and many modules of ads. This will turn readers off. Don't expect to make money from readers if they only see ads
How annoying is it to be watching something on TV and the ads crop up constantly detracting from the content of what you are watching. The same thing happens with lenses.
Readers are here to read and enjoy what you are saying without interruption. You will notice that my lenses have very few ads and, when present, they are subtle unless it is a lens that announces that this is a gift lens or offering goods to be purchased.
Many of my lenses deal with good writing and how to write better, and so on, It will be in your interest to read them and to take on board the information they give, which is free. Others charge heaps for the same on the Internet.
If you are wanting to advertise then build a lens around the product and explain it. Say what it does for you, how much you like it, its benefits, and so on. Give personal information rather than stuff taken from the company's web site. Your endorsement will influence buyers.
How Much Do you Read Ads on Lenses
Or are you expecting more information
How Important is Good Writing on a Lens
Do you read poorly written lenses
Watch Your Language
If you struggle with English and you write for English speakers bear in mind they may not understand you unless you write better.
Many squids struggle with English because it is not their 1st language. They may also be not well educated or they have a mental disorder. or are struggling with literacy for some other reason. If you want to write good English and you are handicapped in any of these ways or under any of these circumstances there is help in both the Critique forum and through some giants who delight in offering themselves for this service.
Personally I have helped many squids to do better in building and presenting lenses but find it very tiring to have to reword a lens to bring it up to scratch. My suggestion is that you learn the language by reading heaps of English text, studying the verbs and grammar, and listening to English radio, television and so on. You can overcome any difficulty if you are willing enough to make the effort. If not put a sentence in the intro announcing your handicap and then it can be overlooked by readers.
There are also courses in English where you can improve on it. Many will overlook the odd mistakes or grammar errors if they don't happen too often.
Spelling is another area where you need to be spot on. So buy yourself an English dictionary and even a thesaurus so you can check on words. The spelling dictionaries on the internet should not be relied on as most are only in American English which is different to English as it should be spoken. Learn the right way before you learn the American way.
How important is correct English for you?
Do you overlook grammar and spelling mistakes
Still images from Dreamstime - click here
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© 2011 norma-holt