You've just begun your story. You have talked to some people and searched out information on the Web. You are ready to sit down at the keyboard and write. Before you begin at the computer, here are some basic writing tips that will help you tell your story more clearly. 1. Tell your story out loud. Make it fun: tell your story to your mother, friend, a tape recorder, your cat. Explain what happened, who was involved, what they said, how it looked. You can do this as if you were talking about something that happened on the way home from the mall this afternoon. Going through the process like this will help you figure out what story you are going to tell in writing. 2. Get the most out of every word and sentence. Put subjects and verbs up front in your sentences to tell their reader exactly what happened."The bus crashed into the building." Use active voice instead of passive. 3. Use concrete and specific words to get your meaning across. It was a pearl-grey Siamese -- not a cat. It was a crumbling cement building with broken panes of glass where windows used to be

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