Monday, August 02, 2010

Top Ten Ways You Can Use Lists in Writing

As I wrote previously, list-making is the number one skill that can help a writer write. Now I want to show you all the kinds of writing that are, essentially, lists.
  1. Brainstorming - lists of ideas
  2. How To - list the steps to do something
  3. Recipes - list ingredients and directions in the order they are needed
  4. Outlines - are highly detailed lists (sometimes, not that detailed)
  5. Essays - essentially expanded lists, prose lists!
  6. Top 10 Lists - why, gee, that's what this is - a list!
  7. Poetry - a carefully ordered list with carefully chosen words. But in fact, there are "list poems" like Raymond Carver's "Fear," which are quite fun to create and quite effective at getting your point across.
  8. Short Stories - Basically written off a list - you can consider a story map / story line to be a list created horizontally instead of vertically - it still has a linear flow
  9. Review Writing - again done in prose, but mostly a list of what the reviewer liked and didn't like
  10. Charts - organizing data into meaningful lists - a pro/con chart, a compare/contrast chart
I hope you find list making becomes your "go-to" strategy when writing any piece. Share with me how you have used lists to help you write!

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