Everyone was trying to write compositions, reviews and essays at school but are you are ready to write an interesting article, a big letter with a business offer let alone a book now?
If you are reading this article, you most definitely want to improve your writing skills and be able to write beautifully.
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Selecting writing skills tips – Advanced Level
1. Developmental reading
In books on self-development, leaving the comfort zone is rightly positioned as a necessary condition for personal growth. Reading has its own comfort zone, which is useful to leave in order to develop.
Therefore, now try to read those authors and study those genres to which your heart isn’t in it before, or what you simply did not understand, such as some complicated free verse. Surely everyone has such.
And what, so it was possible? One of the bonuses of such reading can be unexpected inspiration if you don’t know what to write about, and your hands, as they say, are itchy.
Anything that is unusual can give us an impetus to creativity. For example, Gabriel García Márquez was literally pushed to write by Kafka’s stories. Here’s what he writes about it.
One evening a friend lent me a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka. I returned to the boarding house where I lived then and began to read The Metamorphosis.
From the very first line, I almost flew out of bed in surprise. Here it is: “Waking up one morning after a restless sleep, Gregor Samsa found that he had turned into a terrible insect in his bed.
When you read such a thing, you realize that until now you have not met authors who could afford to write this.
2. Introducing utterances
Let’s listen to the opinion of the American writer Elmore Leonard, whose works were distinguished, among other things, by energetic dialogues. Elmore Leonard advised using the common word “said” to introduce lines instead of verbs like “laugh/snort/exclaim.”
The point is, for the most part, we just “talk”. And when we laugh, it’s not really the moment we say the words. So it would be much more accurate to write:
“I hope you don’t blame me,” Lydia said with a laugh, than: “I hope you don’t blame me,” Lydia laughed.
In addition, most synonyms for the word said – for example, claimed, hinted, insisted, announced, muttered, grumbled, wheezed, pointed out – distract attention from the content of the speech.
And after three or four such synonyms have been used, the image of the author scouring the dictionary clearly arises in the imagination.
For the most part, they are used along with the name that we want to know: who exactly is speaking?
Often, however, this is clear even without the introduction of utterances, and great writers build a dialogue in such a way that it itself makes it clear exactly how, what and by whom was pronounced.
How do you know if descriptions are enough?
Lettered tastes have changed. Two hundred years ago, novelists used to describe the scene in great detail; now brevity is in use.
This is largely due to the fact that modern readers already know roughly how certain places look, even if they have never been there, because they watch TV and go to the cinema.
For example, you may have never attended a court hearing, but you probably know what a courtroom looks like.
Thus, it is desirable to find such details and aspects of the scene that would not be known to everyone. It is only important not to go too far with this.
To plan or not to plan?
There are two opposing views on planning. First, you need to think carefully about the whole plot even before you draw the first word on paper with a pen.
Second: if you know in advance everything about your text (book, script), it will become predictable, and it will not be interesting to write it.
If you are not sure if you want to plan the plot in advance and in what form you are going to do it, answer the following questions:
– How comfortable is it for you to work spontaneously? If you are not used to surprises in life, then in creativity they may also not be to your taste.
– Try to write without a plan. If you soon run into a loss of inspiration or the narrative runs into a dead end, this is a sign that you may be a planner.
– When you write, stop sometimes to write down some thoughts about what you think is going to happen next. Notice how far these thoughts may go.
– If you decided to plan the text in detail, but it turned out that during the work you lost all interest, feel free to tear this plan, and let your own intuition guide you.
There is a danger that points that are completely understandable to you may confuse the reader. This is why it is important that a trusted friend come to your aid for feedback.
And it doesn’t have to be a writer. Sometimes it’s even better that it’s not a writer, because often writers begin to tell you how to fix what they think is wrong, when in reality they just mean they would describe it differently.
The more unassuming reader will often provide more useful feedback, especially if there are moments in the story that they will not understand or follow.
Master class from Umberto Eco
And in conclusion, a few points from the set of rules of Umberto Eco, set out clearly, understandably and with humor.
- Avoid fixed expressions: this is the third-rate wedding-cake.
- Do not use commercial acronyms, etc.
- Remember (well) that the brackets (even if they seem to be necessary) break the strands of a narrative.
- Try not to get indigestion … from overuse of dots.
- Be stingy with quotes. No wonder Emerson said: “I hate quotes. Say only what you yourself know
- Vulgar words are used by scumbags only.
- Always be more or less defined.
- If you cannot find the right expression in the literary language, this is not a reason to use popular language: there is a small choice in rotten apples.
- Are rhetorical questions needed?
- At the beginning of the piece, put a capitatio benevoletiae, expressing thanks (do you even know what I mean?