What is good writing supposed to be?
Good writing is when you are on the expressway, the car window is rolled down, there is wind combing through your hair and you feel inspired to write. Just write, it’s not going anywhere, it’s not specific or formatted.
It can be many small ideas like clothespins on a line or an idea infinite like pi. Good writing is when you make your readers your best friends and tell them whatever flows from within and they’re interested even after the flow has come to a halt. However, it is something else to accomplish good writing.
It’s important to remember that writing gives you all the flexibility in the world. You can travel to another time period, become someone you are not able to be in your actual life, go to places that don’t exist in reality or explain something you’re passionate about and convince others to become passionate about it too. As a writer you have the capability to induce feelings into someone, you have influence, you have power.
Writing isn’t easy at all. You need to find your zen, regardless of whether that be your desk at home, the local Starbucks or a field in your neighborhood. Your zen should be someplace where you feel one with yourself and there is nearly no distraction. You would not want to have an idea at the tip of your tongue and let it slip because your focus goes elsewhere. Writing is an art form, it’s a creative piece that comes from nowhere else but your own mind so channeling into yourself is great help.
Feel for Yourself:
Imagine reading if it didn’t give you anything, if it were just sentences without an electric spark. Most likely, no one would read. To be a good writer it is undeniably important to read in an avid manner. Read various types of books because exploring and being exposed to different styles and types of writings will definitely guide you to either writing in the same type of way or influence you into creating your own style. You need to be able to comprehend what type of writing makes you feel and react. That way you will be better off doing the same with your readers. Possibly a particular author’s work that filled you with sentiment could be a template to your own writing.
Of course feelings don’t just come from books. Authors are very attentive to what happens around them because not only is it an easy way to get inspired but it’s also a learning experience. It’s a learning experience because some noise or some sign that catches an author’s attention could be stored for later use in writing to conceivably make it more realistic. You don’t necessarily have to look for something specific but perhaps keep in mind things that catch your attention.
Good writing stands out and there’s nothing better than a unique style of writing. For instance, in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, each chapter of the story comes from the perspective of a different character, or in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, there isn’t a chronological order to the story, it’s written as if it is a memoir and O’Brien just writes about what comes to mind however, altogether it forms a story. These are the types of books that stand out, therefore are good writings.
It isn’t easy to come up with a personalized way of writing so reading a lot will definitely help with inspiration. Style isn’t the only way to personalize your work though. You can personalize the plot of your story, it doesn’t have to have “normal” qualities that any other might book have. Maybe the themes are exceptional, maybe it’s the characters or the setting worth changing up.
Notice the books that make you feel and react are the same books you can’t put down once you begin to read and really stick with you. Feeling and reaction are keys in good writing. There are countless amount of ways to achieve them in your writing, and to sum it all up — literary elements. Throwing a little imagery, oxymoron, theme and other great elements here and there is vital to making a reader feel like they’re with you in your mind as you visualized the story. Engaging people this way really helps your writing because it makes it more exciting and is an adventure for your readers.
Literary elements can also be useful for writer’s block. You’re sitting around and you feel ultra motivated to write something that will stun the world but, your mind is blanker than a sheet of paper, and sheets of paper are pretty blank. Any ideas you do have seem like cold cases but write them out anyway. Your bland ideas can turn out to be amazing pieces when spiced up with some classic literary elements.
For Example: Original Sentence: The cat sat next to the rat.
Incorporation of Literary Elements in Sentence: The ash-gray cat dubiously sat next to the half-dead rat and with it’s sparkling golden eyes glared at the easy prey.
With the literary elements, imagery and irony, the original sentence has dramatically changed. The imagery helps the reader visualize the scene more like the author intended. It’s ironic how the cat’s golden eyes which resembles cheese, a well-known meal of a rat, is menacing to the rat. The irony gives the scene a twist and gives some insight on how the rat feels while in the original sentence the main focus is the cat.
This is a no-brainer. As children we’re all told by our parents and teachers to read. Reading helps strengthen vocabulary and learn language efficiently. You may not necessarily be writing for children but if your grammar and vocabulary is a mess your readers may have a difficult time understanding what you’re trying to say.
Poems and dialogue are few of the exceptions to this rule. Freestyle poems are a form of writing in which self-expression is crucial to get your point across so rules of grammar and vocabulary don’t apply to poetry. Dialogue also doesn’t need to follow all rules of grammar or have good vocabulary because that just depends on the character.
Getting Started-’till the End:
The best way to have good writing is starting. To start you might have multiple small ideas or one ongoing idea. It’s up to you to decide what you’re going to choose and then expand it. It takes some authors a few days, weeks, or months to finish a piece. Unless you have a deadline don’t feel pressured to write as fast as you can, go by the pace of your own flow. If you do have a deadline, just breathe and once you’ve chosen your idea and have expanded it, break it into pieces and finish each piece on a personal deadline that is reasonable according to you, until you’ve finished. It’s okay to want to start a new topic after spending so much time on another one but not wanting to finish it. Your writing is your art, do what you can to the best of your ability to write in a way in which your readers can’t put your art down.
New York City, United States