Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What is Good Writing?

Is it the skill, the style, the technique or the overall process? Grammar is of course the most important, right? Well maybe not always. In today's world good grammar is often overlooked for speed. A good example is tweets, and texts. The younger generation have almost formed their own language. But this is not good writing, just another form of communication. Makes me wonder what happened to the old fashioned letter with the gentle curves and individual styles of handwriting. But then everything must change over time.

Style and technique are what holds a lot of readers attention and they will pursue reading a book even if the grammar is not quite up to par. You can have the best grammar in the world, perfect sentences, spot on formatting, and it does not make for a good read. So the overall process, the combination that keeps readers coming back over and over for more of the same from the special author, is the magical key to good writing.  You can have it all so never give up trying. Edit until your eyes burn, even then I am afraid to say your script will probably not be perfect.

A fresh pair of eyes is what is needed, more than one fresh pair. But if you don't have those eyes, cannot afford to hire someone to scan your writing, someone who is so experienced that they will find errors you just never saw, then you will have to continue hoping that you have found and completed a perfect script. Good luck to all writers for it is not an easy job but more like a labour of love and that is what makes it so special and so worthwhile.

But more than that, writing, most often fiction, should be exciting. It has to grab the reader from the first moment. Out of a hundred novels, probably only about three really do that. The experienced writer who has had success has learned how to hold his/her audience captivated until the very end. I marvel at some of the writing of some of my favourite writers. I so envy their skill of the craft, but they have worked on it for years, they have tried different methods no doubt and found a formula that works for them. That is not to say that their writing is formulaic, only that they have acquired a system through experience that they apply to each novel in a very different yet similar way.
It is what every writing strives for. So reading is important, read, read, read, then write, write, write. Happy Writing Everyone!

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