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Michael Long is a speechwriter, author, educator, and award-winning screenwriter and playwright.

For keynotes, speechwriting, corporate education, and ghostwriting, contact Mike.


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What Pros Do

To Write Faster Than You

Set up a structure and work inside it.

Sign up for my free webinar:
Friday, March 12 at noon ET
How to Say More Using Fewer Words

Each step in writing a document has challenges.

Getting started is its own kind of difficult.

Finding a way to wrap it up is tough.

Making the details, arguments, or story of the middle is a special trick, too.

Which is why successful writers make a plan up front -- they don't write by feeling their way through it. We write within a structure.

Not only does this save time, it helps us get the important stuff in and keep the superfluous stuff out.

Every document has at least a basic structure: beginning, middle, end. Even if you do only this bit of organizing, you're going to save yourself time.

Because you now have a clear goal for each part of the task.

Bring a Mike Long Writing Seminar to your office, in-person or online.

Customized for what makes your work unique.

The beginning sets up what's to come. That could be a brief tour of what follows, the description of a problem you're going to solve, or a simple greeting.

The middle fleshes out whatever you set up at the top.

And the end ties it all together, reveals or emphasizes the conclusion, or (sometimes and) asks the reader to do something.

Bonus: doing it this ways lets you write in any order. Work on the close, go back to the open, fiddle with the middle. In a way you've created three smaller, easier jobs out of one big, intimidating task.

One more benefit: Your readers or listeners will understand the piece a lot better when it's organized like this. A piece of writing that is not well structured is an invitation to the reader to stop reading. Structure makes everything more "sticky."

This is true for every human experience. Most modern songs have this structure:
  • Verse, Chorus
  • Verse, Chorus
  • Bridge (a second melody, often instrumental)
  • Verse, Chorus
This format, known as ABABCAB, is so ingrained in your head that when a song varies from it, it makes you less likely to like it. And a song with no structure at all? You probably won't even finish it.

Why shouldn’t we desire the same of an essay, article, or speech? In fact we do. Successful writers use this to their advantage -- and to the advantage of their readers.

Join me for a free webinar Friday, March 12 at noon ET:
How to Say More
Using Fewer Words.
Register by clicking here -- through my writing-education website, The Magic Show.

Use structure. It makes things easier for readers, and makes things simpler for you.

© 2021 Mike Long. All rights reserved.
Burke, VA  22015
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