Alicyn KnappWayne McDonald English Composition I23 January 2018The Road to Strong WritingNine times out of ten the popularity and success of a piece of writing are proportional to its strength. Popular books, scripts, poems, etcetera use strong descriptions for characters and their location as well as simple yet complex plots to give strength to the writing. Authors such as J. K.
Rowling (Harry Potter), Christopher Pike (Remember Me), and Christopher Paolini (Eragon) achieve this with outstanding descriptions and amazing plots. However, strong writing often stumps even the best authors. This is best expressed by author Neil Gaiman – author of Coraline – when he says, “Being a writer is a peculiar sort of a job: it’s often you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” So how can an aspiring writer capture an audience with strong and effective writing like a professional?Different authors have different approaches to creating their story. Some authors outline their story beforehand with the characters’ descriptions and various plot twists. Others prefer to start creating their story right away, developing the character and the plot as they go. There is no right or wrong way for a writer to create their story. There is only a wrong way to write it.
The most important details for a piece of writing are grammar and spelling. While there are occasions where some of the more formal rules of grammar can be violated (such as the overuse of commas and ending sentences in prepositions), basic grammar (knowing when to use their, they’re, and there and other such homonyms) as well as great spelling ability are both a necessity when writing a book. If the reader cannot understand a piece of writing due to these basic errors, then they will not continue to read it.
A good rule of thumb would be to have a dictionary and an editor on hand to review and rewrite portions of the book with stronger, more descriptive language and better grammar.Also essential to the process of strong writing is the use of description. A reader should be able to create a “mental movie” for your book using the descriptions provided.
The most important part about using description is to not use too much or too little. The reader doesn’t want to hear about every pore on Sally’s skin. However, the reader does want to know that Sally is a beautiful young Irish woman that catches everyone’s eye wherever she goes. When it comes to describing a location, much more description is required. In this case, a reader will want an in-depth description such as the following:The decorated stones on the walkway were old and broken with pieces crumbling at the slightest touch. The air felt fresh and tasted salty – a predictable side-effect of the nearby ocean. The buildings near the rotting boardwalk were surrounded by razor-sharp pieces of glass and were riddled with graffiti. Telephone wires sparked menacingly along the walkway.
The stench of the apocalypse loomed in the air. One of the most difficult things to do as a human being is to describe what you think, see, and feel. This is why being a writer can be so challenging. However, there are basic rules to being a strong writer that make the task less daunting.
By following these basic rules, one can make a story that catches an audience’s attention and keeps it for books to come.