We write practically every day, from garbled messages, emails, shopping lists, CVs, letters and memos to assignments and full-blown theses.
There are those amongst us, however, who prefer to write beyond the day to day tasks. Some might want to write with a bit more soul, be it an article, memoir or novel.
Here are a few basic ideas on how to write better, for all those aspiring writers who need a bit of an extra push to put their ‘pen’ in motion.
First of all, when you are going to start writing, be yourself. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are writing and write what comes to your head. This is not an instantaneous message, so you can edit the blunders along the way. This helps you not to fall in the so called ‘writing mode’, which is when a person steps into the trap of writing sentences devoid of colour and passion and which could potentially bore the reader. An easy way to keep out of this mode is to write as if you are talking to a relative or friend.
Another good habit to learn is to read and write as often as you can. Whenever I can, I like to take a notebook or tablet with me, and write whatever ideas come to my mind. This is an ideal way to eat up time waiting for the bus while also giving you an arsenal of ideas to re-visit.
A good thing to remember is to include quotes in your story. Apart from giving substance, quotes add credibility and an extra voice to your work, making your writing more vivid.
Write about what you love most. The best way to write well is if you have an interest in the subject. If the subject is not intriguing, then I would try to include something which I like in it.
For example, if you enjoy mystery, don’t go for historical romance. But if you have to go into historical romances, spice it up with some mystery. Always research your subject, even if you think you know enough about it. It will enhance your ideas and won’t tempt your readers to throw the book across the room.
When writing about characters, make sure to give them flaws. Characters are made up of flaws, a package of flaws which will make them more realistic and more enjoyable to follow. A clear example would be the Shakespearean protagonists, which all have a heroic flaw, making them more believable and giving their stories and motives purpose.
Being concise is one of the golden rules of writing. Don’t elaborate just for the hell of it. It is better to be clear, than long, vague and ambiguous.
Also in the words of a friend of mine, find your tone and stick to it. If you enjoy it and write it well, so will the readers. Ultimately, write for yourself, not for others as otherwise you won’t enjoy your finished product.
If you are interested in reading more on how to better your writing, visit Writer’s Digest.