Saturday, February 13, 2010

Learning To Write Better

In the scheme of things, conveying an idea to a reader is much different than verbal one on one communication. Writing concisely is not an easy task. Strengthening your skill takes practice. Learning to write better involves determining how to use words in a way which convey ideas precisely. Effective written communication uses less, not more words.

One way to practice better writing is to write a sentence, then edit the words using the least amount as possible. This is the first phrase of the exercise. Next, go back and find single words which describe your thoughts best. This is very tricky to do because it involves a process of what I like to call "Ultra-Editing." It's nothing more than a treasure hunt for the right words. This is why building a solid vocabulary is so important for aspiring writers.

The 5 minute ULTRA EDITING exercise steps are -
  1. Write a sentence.
  2. Edit the sentence using the least amount of words as possible
  3. Ultra-Edit the sentence by replacing phrases and words with better words.
Here's an example of editing this sentence:

The gnarly, snarling dog bit the very nervous man on the buttocks!

Edited Sentence - The vicious dog bit the anxious man's tooshie.

Ultra-Edited Sentence - The mean dog bit the geek's ass!

5 minutes

I always put a time limit on the exercise. Too much of this can have your head swimming in seconds. The more you do this type of editing the more you realize how even one word can convey a whole phrase or sentence. Writing is about imagery. Readers have to be able to imagine, paint the picture for them. They need to clearly see a vivid impression.

A Degree Of Difference
One version of a sentence is not better than the other, it's different than other. Do not be afraid to use words which convey the meaning with even the slightest of difference. This is part of imagery projecting. Words mean things. The faint divergence in one word can change the whole complexion of a sentence. This is such a crucial aspect of expression. Getting across a thought with the right syntax of creativeness will enlighten your readers imaginations. Go for it!

To Precise Pivots...

1 comment:

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