Thursday, January 18, 2007

Good Idea For Complex Writing 

In this article, author Ken Auletta discusses how he is able to stay in control of information while writing. It's instructive and somewhat obsessive, but he produces lengthy and detailed reports on what is happening in the media that set the standard for other journalists.

Writers have their own ways for organizing material, but the secret is organization once one gets beyond three or four pages of finished work. I prefer a lengthy and detailed outline for long work, such as company backgrounders that run to 22 or 23 pages. My approach may not be as efficient as Auletta's. His job is harder with the number of sources he uses. On the other hand, an outline is the only way I've found to keep the logic of an article on track when detail threatens to sink it.

Some PR practitioners never write in long forms. Press releases number two or three, or at most, five pages, so they don't have to worry about gaps that suddenly show when one is on the 12th page of composition. Those who do write in long forms know the feeling of looking into a dark pit when key facts are missing and the logic of an essay is foundering. It is best not to have that happen too often.


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