Writing tips: Structure

Writing is a skill and like any skill takes practice and learning to do well, which means the more one writes and checks what they write the better they will become. This is not to say that with enough practice anyone can become a brilliant novelist but a proficient writer yes. I have been reading many blogs and websites over the years and have decided to write a bit about writing. Though I am not an expert in writing style I have done a fair amount of reading and writing over the years and am typically considered to be a competent writer.  As such I am going to put out a few posts about writing blogs from my own perspective noting I am not prolific in blogging but I am currently writing a thesis so I do have some credentials on the writing front and since writing is what we do mechanics are important. In this first post I will start with structure.

Structure of any piece of writing is essential as a piece that is confused and unorganised is frustrating and tiring to read. We write to communicate and though we may not always realise it most writing has three essential parts: Introduction, Body/Discussion/Argument, and Conclusion. Even a sentence has these parts “I looked across the bar with the bass beat thumping in the background and saw her looking like an electronic angel in the lights and I knew I had to meet her so I picked up my drink and started to walk over with all the confidence I could muster.” From this short example we know that the narrator is in a bar with electronic music apparently on the prowl (introduction) and spots beautiful woman they want to meet (body) and takes actions to go and meet her even though they are nervous (Conclusion). In school many people learn a five paragraph essay with an introduction, three body/discussion paragraphs, and a conclusion and though this is a very simplistic layout I find it reasonably effective as a starting off point as it ensures I have enough to say.  Even if your post is only one paragraph this five structure works well as this post from my blog demonstrates:

The other day I was walking through a store and cut through the women’s clothing section and found myself fighting off the urge to look and I noticed how uncomfortable I was because men are supposed to be uncomfortable in the women’s section even though the panties and jeans I was wearing were from the same area of that store from a few weeks prior. As men we are taught that women’s clothing is a mystery and something to only be viewed on a woman’s body for erotic purposes and viewing or touching it at any other point in time will suck the masculinity right out of us and make our penis shrink. Women in the men’s department looking through clothes is considered normal even if they are by themselves; but a man in the women’s department should always be escorted, disinterested, and uncomfortable unless he is beside the fitting rooms uncomfortably staring at his phone waiting for the woman to come out. If we show any interest in the clothing then we are considered perverts even though we may simply be helping our female significant others choose what clothes look good on them, and even if we are looking at the clothes for ourselves that doesn’t make us perverts.   I am tired of this double standard as appreciating and wearing women’s clothes doesn’t make me a sexual predator and so I have decided to walk through women’s sections whenever possible and hold my head high and if something catches my eye I’ll look as things of beauty should be appreciated not shunned.

This short post introduces what it is about; being uncomfortable in women’s clothing sections of stores as dictated by societal norms even though I was wearing women’s clothing at the time. The three discussion sentences are outlining the situation as to why I felt uncomfortable and the double standard of clothing sections in stores with men being perverts if they look at any of the women’s clothes. The conclusion is that I am sick of these double standards and that my solution is to walk through these areas without hesitation or embarrassment and if something catches my eye to look. Short and most importantly makes the point in a short bit of reading. Next is the longer essay style which I will not write a demonstration of but a longer discussion is in order.

The introduction is to introduce what you are going to be talking about as unlike a conversation where all of the people involved shape the discussion when you write you are alone in the discussion. If someone starts off a blog with “Just sitting around and thought I would write something” with the title “Some Random thoughts” I may or may not continuing reading as my interest has not been peeked. You may only have a few sentences to get me to continue reading, remember in our Reader streams we only have the title and the first few words of a post so that is all of the time you have to convince us to continue reading. The title is the very first thing so make it informative and intriguing as possible to grab our attention so “What I did last weekend” is not catchy as it could be you telling us about cleaning the house and reading a book but “My weekend at the Folk Festival” tells us what your post is about and sounds more interesting. The first two or three sentences should tell us what your subject is and why you are writing about it as the title gets us to look and the introduction keeps us reading. If you are unable to do this in your preferred writing style (your own voice) then go for a simple abstract in italics written in a short simple style that is different from your style as a way to introduce us to the introduction, yes it is a bit academic but it is effective.

The body is where things get a little more confused as you can do with this what you want and can take a wide variety of styles though each unique new topic of discussion should be its own section be that bullet point, paragraph, or whatever else style you are using. It should follow the pattern you have put in your introduction and so after you have written your post go back and ensure the introduction matches what it is supposed to introduce. If the title is “I tried to make Crème Brulee” and your introduction says how you have wanted to try this for a while and this is how it went then it should not also tell about the last time you used that torch to fix a leaky pipe in your plumbing and the problems you had soldering unless your title is “All the things I have done with my propane torch”.  Stay on topic and ensure everything is in a readable predictable manner. If you go through my blog you will notice that at times I use bullet points, paragraphs, headings, and many other styles to construct my bodies but I always try to keep them consistent and clear so the reader can follow them. You are trying to get a point across or to tell the story so stick with that and you should be home free.

Conclusions are not necessarily written last or as I typically write them second last just before the introduction. It is a section where one summarizes what they have written and what the reader should take away from it, so if all one reads is your title and the first and last paragraphs they should have a reasonable grasp what you wrote about. If your post was about the best way to grow tomatoes at home be it in the ground, pot, upside down, or in a basket then the conclusion should say which method is best and why. Though since we typically know why we are writing something and have an opinion on it before we begin the piece we must be aware of confirmation bias which is when you think you know the answer and only seek sources that confirm your answer. An example is climate change deniers only watching news networks that support that view (Fox News or Sun News) and refusing to pay attention to the other side of the argument. In terms of the topic of my blog I am a man who wears women’s clothing and while I don’t see an issue with it nor do the majority of people who read my blog I must recognise that crossdressing or transvestitism is not socially accepted and is defined as a physiological disorder in the DSM. I must recognise that others have justifiable arguments and views contradictory to my own and I should make an effort to understand those views even though I disagree with them I should not ignore their existence. Be open to being wrong and always try to offer some point for readers to comment on the subject matter.

This is my first post on writing I have a few more roughed out and would be interested to know if this is of help or if I am being irritating. As always I like comments, likes, and shares as it helps to guide what I write about and though this post differs in subject matter but this is Crossdressers Commentary so just toss this under the second. I just happen to be doing a lot of writing right now so it is on my mind.

4 thoughts on “Writing tips: Structure

  1. I totally agree,I refuse to be intimidated.When I shop it is comfortable for me. For others,well that’s for them to handle.I ask for and receive assistance and I try on what ever.They are MY clothes not women’s,

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