Writing Skills are Necessary

September 27, 2011 at 3:06 am | Posted in Writing | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Here is part of an interview I gave last week. The question was:

Do you have any advice for new authors?

This was my reply. I have added a little more to it as well.

One of the things I would say to new authors is “follow your dream”. However – and this is where the former teacher comes out – you cannot follow that dream without the skills and tools you need to do it well.

There are too many self-published writers out there who do not have a real grasp of even the most basic writing skills – grammar, punctuation and, often, vocabulary.

Writers also need to be able to tell a story in a way that can be understood by the reader. It is no good putting in lots of action, or having unusual characters and/or setting, when your story does not flow, where the reader wonders what is going on, who is who, or why events are occurring.

You want to put the reader into the story, so you must make it logical and believable within its context. This may be contemporary, historical, fantasy, alternate, whatever.

So, if you need to write, want to write, and have a story to tell, then learn the skills that will help you to tell that story to the best of your ability.

It is hard enough to get your work out into the world when it is well-written, and when it has appropriate and realistic setting, context, characters action and story. Most discerning readers will put aside a poorly written novel in favour of a well-written one.

You can always write for yourself, and then the skills don’t matter. But, if you want to write for others, you must master the skills of writing. To be a writer is hard work. It doesn’t just happen.

These days, getting out there is extremely difficult, even if you have a perfect story, perfectly written. You cannot submit your writing to a publisher or an agent and expect them to fix up the grammar, the punctuation, the spelling, and the problems in the storyline. You have to get that right first yourself.

I suggest that you get yourself a book that will teach you about sentences, about grammar, and about setting out your dialogue. These basic skills that are not often taught in school any more, and that is a serious omission from the curriculum. If you can’t write well, you cannot communicate the exact thoughts that you wish to. So, if you want to write well, you will have to teach yourself how to do it.

© Linda Visman



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Excellent article and easy to understand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming news letter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.

    • Chas, thank you for your supportive comment. As long as your own article, etc is relevant, and you acknowledge me appropriately as author, you may use any part of the entry you need. I am pleased to assist 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.


Our species is evolving. But will we ever be smarter than crows?

Helen Armstrong - writing on the move

I write when I travel but not always about travelling. It doesn't have to be a quiet corner...

Rosella Room

Socio-cultural comment on a range of issues, including literature, music and mental health


Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Foxgloves and Bumblebees

A Nature Journal

L.T. Garvin

Eclectic blog: short fiction, poetry, humor, occasional dreams and wild book schemes.

Echidna Tracks

Australian Haiku


art. popular since 10,000 BC

Word Craft ~ Prose and Poetry

Colleen M. Chesebro ~ Novelist, Prose Metrist, & Word Witch


Thel's Sketchings: Art, Photography, Musings & Short Stories

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious


A blog about writing and reading


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.


A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

%d bloggers like this: