Writing Prompts of the Week – 9

1. Many people feel reading fiction is a waste of time. Write about your position on this, giving reasons to support your argument.

2. Write about a memorable experience you have had while traveling.

3. Write from the point of view of a child as he/she perceives the world around him/her.

4. Write an essay, story, or poem making use of the following words – shopping, interest, someone, understand, and rumor.

5. Write about the first thing that comes to your mind on seeing this picture –




Bookmark and Share

What Is Writing Style?

We often hear of the term ‘writing style’ – the ‘writing style’ of this writer is good, but the ‘style’ of that writer is not. What is this ‘style’ that we talk about?

‘Writing style’ refers to the manner in which writers express themselves. This manner is based on the choices they make in selecting their syntactical structures, diction, and figures of speech. It is these unique and personal choices that give identity to a writer. Generally style evolves from two things – naturally over a period of time; and the choices a writer makes consciously keeping in mind the audience and the purpose of writing.

If you are a new writer and would like to develop a style of your own, keep these points in mind:

1. Read. Read voraciously and broadly. The more you read on a wide range of topics by a variety of writers, the better you’ll be able to understand what style is, and as a result, the better your own style will evolve into.

2. Write. Write as much as possible on as many topics as possible. Don’t worry about whether it’s good or bad… just write. Before long you’ll see your style evolving.

3. Choose words wisely. Select your words judiciously. Don’t try to use difficult words just to impress your readers. Trying to use difficult words just to sound intelligent only leads to their wrong use, and as a result spoiling your whole piece of writing. If you’re stuck on the right choice of words, use a good thesaurus.

4. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Say what you have to say clearly and precisely in as few words as possible. Writing long sentences and paragraphs can lead to writing irrelevant things and as a result moving away from your main topic.

5. Get acquainted with figures of speech. Don’t use figures of speech – like metaphors, similes, clichés, and so on – unless you know them well, and know when and how to use or not use them. Not understanding them fully, can lead to their wrong use, and as a result making your writing sound awkward.

6. Be clear. Write whatever you write with clarity and as simply and logically as possible. The important thing here is to get your point across in a way that anyone who reads it – not just a few – can easily understand it.

7. Be yourself. Try and do all the above in your own way and as naturally as possible. Any deliberate attempt can make your writing sound fake and stilted.

These points are just a guide to developing your own writing style – a style which reflects your own individual personality.

Have I mentioned all the points or do you think something else should (or should not) be done to develop a writing style?

Bookmark and Share

Writing Prompts of the Week – 8

Create stories, articles, or poems from the following prompts:

1. What are the things that make you very happy?

2. You are a witness to a murder. What do you do?

3. Will you raise your child the way you were brought up by your parents? Why or why not?

4. If you were to find out that the person you considered to be your best friend actually hates you, what would you do?

5. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this picture?

Bookmark and Share

Revision Angst

(Courtesy inkygirl.com)

Revision is the hardest part of the writing process. How do you revise? I’d love to hear from my writer friends … how do you go about it? Do share your views here.

Bookmark and Share

Looking for Writing Inspiration?

“Where do you get inspiration from?” This is a question almost all writers get asked some time or the other. And why not? Inspiration is an integral part of writing. All writers – no matter how good – need some kind of inspiration to keep them going. They may need it some of the time, or all of the times. “Some of the time” because quite often ideas come on their own or unexpectedly from the most unlikely places, and “all of the times” because sometimes no matter how hard they try, they just cannot think of anything. The mind goes completely blank.

So, what does one do when the mind goes blank? Where do writers get inspiration from? Well, different writers have different sources. If you’re wondering, or are looking for sources of inspiration yourself, here are some of the most common that writers go for:

1. Reading. Reading anything – books, magazines, newspapers, even milk cartons and cereal boxes. There’s so much variety in reading material that it almost always gives you food for thought, which in turn gives you ideas – sometimes new, sometimes the same with a different angle. As you continue to read, one idea leads to another and you’re full of ideas.

2. Talking. Talking to people – family, friends, colleagues, anyone – leads to ideas. Sometimes ideas pop up on their own during a conversation, at other times you can ask them to give you ideas. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get out of this, you’ll even wonder – why didn’t I think of that? Remember the saying ‘two heads are better than one’?

3. Surfing the web. Go to any site, follow random links – links that you don’t usually go to. Going over something completely different gives you completely new ideas. Go to various blogs and forums and see what people are discussing. Pick up the latest trends and give them new twists.

4. Going out. Go out, anywhere that you don’t usually go to – museums, shopping malls, parks, or just take a walk down the road. Look around and observe the new environment, the people walking by, the sounds, sights, everything. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas you can come up with.

5. Letting your mind wander. Sometimes having too much on your mind prevents new ideas from coming in. So let yourself go. Listen to some soft music, go for long leisurely drives alone, or to a quiet corner in a park – anywhere where you can let your mind wander in peace. Just stop thinking of the routine things and go for the random and unusual, and see how many new ideas you can come up with.

Like Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Where do you get your writing inspiration from? Anything different from the ones above? We’d love to hear from you.

Bookmark and Share

Chimamanda Adichie on the Danger of a Single Story

Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie,  talks about how our lives and cultures are composed of many overlapping stories; and how we can find our own unique voice from among them.  A brilliant and very inspirational talk –

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Chimamanda Adichie“, posted with vodpod

Bookmark and Share

World Literature at the World Economic Forum

It was interesting to see that at the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian, China, time was specially carved out to discuss world literature. Here’s the link –

 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2009/09/09/essential-reading-for-tomorrows-leaders/

 

Which books would you suggest as essential reading for tomorrow’s leaders? Please do share your suggestions.

 

Bookmark and Share