Friday, November 12, 2010


Subheadings in articles for magazines help clarify what is written. Take for instance, the articles I just finished for Rocky Mountain Senior and Lyons Recorder. Each lists Christmas activities for several cities. By dividing the article into city subheadings, residents need not read what doesn't apply to their city unless they want to participate elsewhere.

Another article listed inexpensive ideas for Christmas decorations. I wrote a subhead for each area of the house - kitchen, bathroom, great room, etc. Then a reader can concentrate on the area they desire to improve with more decorations.

Be sure the subheadings are parallel. In other words, if one begins with a verb, the rest should begin with verbs. If one is a noun, the others should be nouns. Make subheadings descriptive enough that readers can skim and find what they need. For a long article, try to subhead each page.

I discussed writing with the co-owner of the Lyons Recorder. Some topics we covered included "ing" and "ly" words as well as active verbs. I believe the best advice any writer can pass on would be to make your writing active. Eliminate those "to be" verbs and replace them with active verbs that describe the action. Sometimes, as I've indicated before, the adjectives or adverbs turned into verbs help the action.

Now that the Holidays are approaching, everyone's schedules fill up. Some people may have little time for reading blogs. I started putting up decorations yesterday because we will be out of town part of Thanksgiving week. Hopefully weather cooperates and we'll hang our Christmas lights soon. Wish we hung them during all our Indian summer.

That said, I hope your Thanksgiving is filled friends and family. I will post before Thanksgiving but skip Black Friday.

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