Writing a novel or an essay, composing poems or lyrics requires time and effort. Even lots of time and dedication are not enough for a masterpiece sometimes. So, how to become a good writer?
Like anything else in the world, writing is like exercise, the more you do it, the more comfortable and the better you get at it. If you are learning to play on a musical instrument, practice always makes you better. But people forget that and think it is a talent. That is like that joke. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.
Remember, no one is born as a writer. So, your first goal is to start writing, the second one is to start writing well and the third one is to edit your paper. Here are some thoughts about that.
Brilliant Idea: Everything Is Relative
What is a good composition? As many men, as many minds. Bestsellers which have millions of admirers always have haters, not to mention less popular compositions. Every writing will find its audience. Not always fewer fans mean a bad work. Sometimes people are not ready yet to understand and appreciate it. Just remember classic literature and how many writers met their recognition after their death. Hence, everything is relative. Keep your head up and try more if you are not successful in writing yet.
Let us not make it complicated and clarify that a good writing should be clear, clean, figurative and structured. It should provide the reader's mind with some food for thinking. Moreover, a reader waits not only for useful and interesting information but literary pleasure as well. Therefore, to create a good piece of writing, take an idea, the core of any composition, and wrap it in captivating words. Offer vivid images and explanatory examples to a reader, still preserving the clarity of the idea.
Tips from the World-Famous Writers
Ernest Hemingway had four tips for writing well. One – use short sentences, two – use short first paragraphs, three – use vigorous English and four – be positive, so instead of “inexpensive” use “economical”, instead of “painless” use “a little discomfort”.
But most of the bestselling authors claim that there are no real tricks to writing. You just need to pretend you are sitting at a bar talking to your best friend. By the way, the same thing you should try while interviewing. When it comes to writing, the hardest thing is to start. How you can tackle writing and not be scared of it? I know, it can be terrifying to look at a blank computer screen and think “I have to fill that up”. Even after three years as a journalist, it still scares me to sit down at a screen and just start writing. So, where to start?
How to Start?
When you are facing a story, never start writing until you have a sense in the mind, the full scope of the story. For some authors, writing an outline is crucial and other writers just have it in their head. But once you have an understanding that this is the arc of your story, these are all the point you want to make and this is a background you want to give, then you can start writing.
Lack of topics can be compensated by ideas from life. Listen to the talks of people at the bus stops or watch children playing. Just open your eyes wide and a swarm of ideas will overflow your head. Every time a new idea knocks to your mind do not ignore it, write it down into a notebook. In this way, you will always have what to write about. Furthermore, a large number of topics will allow you to select the worthy ones.
How to Start Writing Well?
The first requirement is you want to grab the readers’ attention and say “come along with me”, “sit and give this story some time”. A lot of times, you can set a scene, surprise them, shock them, say something funny and then the story unfolds.
Unexpected detailed things that people would not otherwise know, that is what makes for good writing. So, doing your research and figuring out what it is you have to say is really in a lot of ways the most important part about writing well. Anybody can sit down and put words together but you want to convey something. The great writer of “Angela’s Ashes” said once “When in doubt, tell a story, that is really what people like to read”.
Pick the Right Style
Everybody has a different style. Some authors like to go very slowly and do sentence by a sentence. Others like to do a brain drain where you just let it all go and fix your paper later.
There are no hard rules for writing, just use common sense. Think about who you are writing for. It is like getting dressed. If you are going to a party, you put on a certain outfit. If you are hanging out with your friends on a Saturday afternoon, you wear something else. The stories are the same way. You have to think what suits this story the most.
If you are covering the Knicks, you can write it in an irreverent way. If you are writing about why the president approved drilling in the Arctic even though it is dangerous environmentally, you really have to be very careful and serious about how you go about presenting the information that you have.
But whatever your style is, try to avoid passive voice. “The man was bitten by the dog”. It is much better to say “the dog bit the man”. That comes to sentence structure. Sometimes you can write a sentence but it does not seem right. What should you do? Try to write it three different ways and pick the best one. It is like you stand back from it and you become your own editor.
All the world-famous writers would say this phrase in one voice: “A good writer writes a lot”. It is impossible to learn to ride a bicycle theoretically. To get the skill you should take a bicycle and try to ride it. Fall down, get up and repeat. The more you try, the better you ride. The same thing with writing. If, at the moment, it is super difficult, start a blog, write on Twitter or any other social network on a daily basis. Little by little, you will master your writing skills, gain self-esteem and find your readers.
Beautiful sophisticated words will not appear in your vocabulary by magic. Find them in academic publications, blog posts, classic literature, fiction, non-fiction, poems etc. When you read a lot and everything, you expand your lexicon and create an inner critic that helps you to distinguish worthy literature, develop a good taste, find your own style. In the beginning, you can even imitate styles of other writers until you find your own.
Fair or not, some people are more naturally talented than others. But even a talent needs to be cultivated. Neither ever overestimate yourself, there is always someone better than you, nor ever underestimate yourself, maybe your talent needs a little bit more effort.
Your choice today defines your tomorrow. Choose to write and very soon you can get not only good marks for essays but literary recognition as well.