Asses the Audience
One of the first things to inform my writing is knowing who is going to be read it – and knowing who you want to be reading it. Tone and writing style relies heavily on your known and desired audience.
Determine the Delivery
Is this for the web? Newspaper? Magazine? Twitter? This is will help determine important things like length and pacing.
Get the Goals
I distill the intent of your story into one neat sentence – then, figure out what you need this story to do. Does it need to inspire? Inform? Entertain? Knowing the answers to these questions keeps writing compact, lively, and relevant.
Have a Headline
The best story in the world is worth nothing when you can’t get the reader to start reading. I think in headlines – and that’s why my writing works.
Create and Compose
Once we know the intended message, method of delivery, and approximate length, it’s time to research, interview, and write. The opening paragraph should keep readers reading – the closing one should leave them thinking.
Revise, Revise, Revise
After the bulk of a piece has been created, it’s time to trim the fat and fill out the details, to create a tight, impactful piece of writing that will convey a clear and concise message while accomplishing the intended mission of entertainment, information, or inspiration.