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Any academic/ non fiction authors who can help me please- Crisis of confidence

(8 Posts)
strugglingwriter Wed 16-Jul-08 13:10:53


I've been asked to write a fairly short piece of text on a specialist area (15,000 words). Without going into too much detail, it is an specialised science academic/research based topic, but what I have been asked to write is to be aimed at more general audience of allied professionals.
The problem is that I have never done anything like this before.
I have completed my first draft (with lots of mumsnetting along the way blush)
And it just all looks to me a bit, well, useless.
Is this a normal end of first draft feeling? Will it all be OK [frightened grin]
Any hints or tips that anyone kind might have for me?

WilfSell Wed 16-Jul-08 13:23:37

yes it is a normal end of draft feeling... what's your deadline? if you can put it away for a while...

strugglingwriter Wed 16-Jul-08 13:51:53

Have a few weeks left. Is that bad?

I'm too worried to put it away at the moment. You are probably right though, I think I will go through it all one more time and then put it away for a few days. Hopefully things will fall into place at some stage?

WilfSell Wed 16-Jul-08 14:26:07

blimey - I'm usually drafting and redrafting up to the deadline so you have a bit of time to go, which is good.

I'd say yes go through it one more time now and then I insist grin you put it away for 2-3 days. Then go over in your head or in note form what kinds of things this general professional audience will want that might be different from an academic/specialist audience.

15k is quite long IMHO - usual academic journal article would be 7-8000 words so you've got quite a lot of room to play with. Do you want to say a bit more about your normal writing and the kind of piece it is supposed to be?

Jazzicatz Wed 16-Jul-08 14:28:40

What do you mean by useless - can you elaborate?

Carmenere Wed 16-Jul-08 14:34:50

Is there a comparable piece of work you could take structure and layout markers from. Often I find if you know how you want to write the piece it is easier to compose iyswim. <not that I have ever written anything even vaguely academicblush>

strugglingwriter Wed 16-Jul-08 15:09:46

Thank you wilfsell am glad you didnt express horror at my timescale!
I think that the main problem at the moment is that I feel that the piece doesnt really flow well. Obviously it is always going to be a very factual piece, but ideally I would like it to read nicely too.
This is not a piece of work that has been done before, there are vaguely similar things around, but I have been trying to steer clear as I feel that if I look too much at what other people have done I might inadvertantly copy them.

Jazzicatz Wed 16-Jul-08 16:05:20

I find that structure is often my main hurdle when writing - do you have someone who can read through the piece to say which bits are clunky and could do with a re-write?

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