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Does your heart sink at the thought of writing project descriptions?

Project descriptions often turn into a long and uninspiring series of here’s-one-I-made-earlier moments.

But I’ve found a quick-fix way of immediately injecting a little more life into the thought of them: just call them project stories instead of project descriptions.

Stories are a great invention, and not just because they make everything more meaningful for the reader. They’re a great invention because they make things easier for you, the writer.

So how can you make the leap from writing a project description to writing a project story? How do you give your words pace, interest and a heartbeat?

First put away the images of your project. You just need pen and paper (or screen and keyboard) and an unfettered mind. Now note down the answers to these three questions:

1. What inspired you at the start of the project?
2. What was the biggest challenge along the way?
3. What do you love about the project now?

Just like that, you’ll have given yourself a beginning, a middle and an end. In other words, you’ll have given yourself the hooks you need to tell a story.

Now link these hooks together to make a first draft of your project story.

Then make yourself a cup of tea – or go and do other things – and come back to it with a clear head. If you can see something that could be better (which you will), make it better.

And that’s it.

Writing project descriptions is one of the things I cover in my workshops for the Museum of Architecture, so this might not be news to you. But if this is the first time you’ve considered that there might be a different way of doing things, I hope your heart is at least a little lighter now.

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