By Eisha Khalid
Anyone can be a good writer; it’s not any gene-deep trait that can only be inherited. With a few tips and tricks, a good level of interest and a few hours of free time, I’m sure you can get your writing skills in the bag. Here are a few guidelines you can follow.
Like my teacher used to say, good readers are good writers. In your spare time, pick up some influential books or a paperback of your interest and read. Reading improves your imagination and allows you to create original ideas of your own and thus help you to write. You see the writing styles of different writers and try to conjure your own. Moreover, reading stocks your vocabulary with new words and phrases you didn’t know before. When you come across difficult words, try interpreting them by consulting a dictionary or a thesaurus and you will learn a whole bunch of fresh terms behind the one you searched for.
When you start writing an article, don’t forget to research, whether by leafing through a book or an encyclopaedia, or checking in websites regarding the general idea of your composition. It helps in getting you fresh and up-to-date material and more facts to add. Find quotations to insert in your piece.
Sometimes you get a bunch of good ideas for an article or a story and they all get mixed together. Sequence is very important. Manage your ideas by writing them down in points or drawing a web/plan, which is easily the oldest method. Then arrange them in an accurate pattern so that the reader follows your story and understands what you mean. Introduction always comes first and slowly the article gets more detailed until the conclusion.
Write down your first draft, keeping in mind the sequence. Use appropriate words and phrases to explain your meaning, and make use of your good vocabulary. When you describe something, use expressions and suitable adjectives to make the story alive. Remember, your introduction should be catchy, so that it gets the reader’s attention and makes him/her want to read on. Start a new paragraph when you finish at one point. But never deviate from your central idea. When you reach the conclusion, be sure you have made your story perfectly clear; end with a sentence that gradually brings it to a close. For example, “My effort was over and I collapsed almost unconscious, with an arm on either side of me.” Cliff hangers are the best conclusions to articles/stories which have a sequel or more chapters to come. They are sentences or clauses that keep the reader in suspense and interest to find out what happens next.
When you are done, get to write the final piece. Avoid any grammatical mistakes and punctuate your sentences with capitals, stops, commas, semi-colons etc where necessary. Replace or remove those words and sentences that don’t fit in with the article. Most importantly, check whether you have spelled your words correctly. Give it a once-over again for eliminating any minor to major mistakes.
Well, I’m not a writer queen or anything but I hope these guidelines will help you sharpen your writing skills. In the meantime, let me get back to my story. Happy Writing!