Writing Strongly for a Better Article

An article by David Brooks. Last updated: July 30, 2018

In the past I’ve shied away from stating a strong opinion on my sites because I’m not really a big fan of negative press or even the strong retribution that comes in the comments section. But about a year ago I read an article that changed my mind about it a little bit. It wasn’t the type of article you’d really sit down and read, it was closer to a guide for people who were studying classical literature in college.

Nevertheless, the one thing I picked up from it was that writing with strength makes an article or a piece of literature more interesting. And I’ll admit, I can’t remember the last time I read something that I really liked that didn’t have that characteristic.

Had the Lord of the Rings trilogy been written with only a slightly evil ring we never would have sat through over nine hours of movies or devoted far more time to reading the books.

The application is simple, write something that brings forth an argument, an opinion or a story arc without wavering or worrying about the repercussions. Even if it’s not a direct point like “blue is the best color ever!” it can still be stated strongly.

An example from web design: “Instead of using tables for everything, we should use proper markup in HTML” instead of “I’ve been trying out this thing called Semantic HTML, and I think it’s better than tables!”

In an attempt to hold closely to an unbiased perspective I have often cheapened solid facts or defined concepts by weakly stating what should have been the best parts of an article.

I’ve tried hinting at things, but it never really delivers as solidly as actually stating a point. It’s not the way I would write something fictional or in an essay for a class, so why would I ever think that it would work for an audience that may or may not even want to read about a concept that I’m presenting.

So consider it a New Years resolution, if you like, but this year my goal is to write stronger articles and concepts.

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