On my way home from work I flicked through The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal in order to get some inspiration for today’s blog. In the introduction he explains that “writing had four pillars – structure, style, readability and grammar” and compares each pillar to a single chair leg.
My interpretation of this is the ‘BIG PICTURE’ in writing – a reminder that if we get this combination right, we can successfully communicate to the reader. Below are some explanation of the four pillars.
To give your writing structure, it needs to be organised and in some sort of order. Brandon Royal gives many examples of this including “Keeping like things together” and “Writing with a top down approach”, which I blogged about in Note 1 Where should I put the conclusion?.
How do you write? Do you give examples or add links to support your work? This is your writing style. Brandon Royal’s examples of style are choosing an appropriate tone as well as keeping it simple (see Note 55 – Cut your work).
Is your writing visually attractive to the reader? In this section, Brandon Royals talks about the layout, the use of headings as well and also reworking your writing. To check your presentation skills, it might be worth asking someone to be honest about a piece of your writing; get them to tell you if it was easy to follow and if they were kept interested until the end.
Grammar is about expressing language in an acceptable way. Brandon Royal writes about the 30 rules of grammar. I like the way he explains grammar – it is either right or wrong. This is different to the other three pillars above (structure, style and readability) as these are either better or worse (effective or less effective). Some of my notes: Note 162 – Language = Vocabulary + Grammar Rules and Note 163 – Grammatical Building Blocks, explain some points on grammar.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog.
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This blog post forms part of My Writing Challenge.
Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome