Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus

Focus. Every nonfiction piece needs it, whether you are writing a how-to article, or an essay about hot air balloons. But sometimes when you’re writing, the piece wants to wander. One train of thought branches off into another, and another, and so on. Soon, you may find yourself hopelessly off on a tangent and way off track of the original piece.

Hands collaborating in co-writing or co-editin...

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This weekend’s assignment is to practice finding the focus of your piece. How? By writing a 25 word (or less) focus statement for your project. A focus statement summarizes the slant and content of the article at hand. It doesn’t have to resemble a formal summary at all. In fact, you can use a template like this:

“I am writing a piece about ___ with a focus on ___ , ___, and ___.”

If you don’t have anything new in the hopper, use a focus statement as you revise a piece. First, write the statement. While you edit, check what you have written against your focus. Is it on track, or off on a tangent?

The Show and Tell Challenge

Step right up and take the B&B Show and Tell Challenge! Here’s how: Share your tips for keeping your writing focused in the comments. It’s that simple!

Need more inspiration? Click here.

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6 comments on “Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus

  1. In many stories there is a fragment of information–a quotation a bit of description an action–that will bring the entire piece into focus. Often a confusion of raw material is brought to focus when you discover a question that must be answered.

  2. […] Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

  5. […] Weekend Assignment: Focus Pocus (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

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