Writing Skills are Necessary

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

27.09.2011

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2 Comments »

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  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 🙂


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