Blogs and Columns – All the Same and All Different by Debra H. Goldstein
Engaging blogs or columns don’t simply come out of thin air. Just as there is an art to crafting a short story or book, writing a blog requires a careful balancing of words. A good piece has a central theme or point the author wishes to convey. Consequently, from the opening to the end, the work produced must stay true to itself or it won’t be effective.
A successful blog or column begins with a topic sentence that catches the reader’s eye by being informative or provocative. After the killer opening, the next sentences set the tone for the piece and make the reader want to keep reading, but don’t delve into the subject matter. That is left for the body of the work.
Unlike the first paragraph which establishes what the blog is about, the next few paragraphs must again name the topic or concept being discussed, define it, and explain it through example or application. The final paragraph, whether referring back to the opening or standing on its own, must tie up the loose ends and bring the piece to a tight conclusion.
Although the mechanism for delivering the blog or column’s concept seems cut and dry, it isn’t. Word counts differ, voices range from somber to comical, ideas are delivered factually or with unsupported rationale. Writing styles also vary, but to stick the landing as a gymnast would do, the work must evoke an obvious or subliminal reaction for the reader. Ann Patchett is adept at reaching into the human soul in her blogs or essays, Art Buchwald used humor to deliver pointed satirical commentary. We, the members of Writers Who Kill, reflect a dichotomy in our presentation styles, but we all produce blogs that we hope inform and engage you.