Sunday, December 27, 2009

Learning How to Write

I couldn't log in to my You Can Write a Novel blog to post this article. I am posting here instead to see if I can figure out the problem. Hope it inspires or motivates someone today.

Is writing easy? That can be a tough question to answer because it can be both easy and difficult simultaneously. A great and legendary writer like Stephen King admits he has his good points and his tough points and by no means is writing a new novel easy for him. Of course, the mere fact that Stephen King is enormously successful leads one to reasonably conclude that he does not make the common mistakes that beginning writers commonly make. So, here are some tips on learning how to write while avoiding some of the common mistakes that are often embodied by new writers. Actually, a few seasoned writers make these errors as well.

All works of writing need to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. This is true of both fiction and non-fiction. Fiction needs to present a clear narrative with writing that yields a direct path to the conclusion of the work. Non-fiction will usually introduce a concept, spend the middle of the material developing it, and then tying it all up in a proper conclusion. Beginning writers have a tendency to meander in their material and present an unfocused work. That confuses the readers and turns them off rather quickly.

Be sure you know and understand the audience you are writing for. Those that are crafting works designed for a young audience need to be sure the material is written at their level and not above it. If it is, they won't understand what they are reading. On the other hand, you would not want to write oversimplified material to an older audience that they reject. Again, you always need to tailor your writing to the age bracket of the reader.

It is also important to maintain the same point of view in the work. Yes, there are some famous novels such as THE SOUND AND THE FURY that violate such principles, but these books are complex even for those that study them on an academic level. Also, Faulkner knew what he was doing when he was changing the narrative and structural point of view of his novel. This is not an easy task to pull off! When done improperly, changing a point of view can thoroughly confuse a reader. So, avoid doing it!

Avoid making every character in a fiction piece sound the same. This is often the result of using too much exposition. When all the characters sound the same, they can have a tendency to blend together. When you can't tell the protagonist from the antagonist, you have a major structural flaw. Keep this in mind when you are learning how to write.

When learning how to write, it is quite helpful to invest a lot of time practicing how to improve your material. Consistent practice is something that you never lose sight off and something you never stop no matter where in your writing career you may be. Setting aside the time to practice so you hone into your craft is always a recommended plan when seeking to correct common beginner writing mistakes.

Lastly, it should almost always go without saying that proper syntax and grammar are a must. Those learning how to write always need to pay attention to the proper wording of their material. If not, the material will not be well received. That's just the way it goes!

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About the Author:
Lisa Brunel
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