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"Writing Skills" by Sharada

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Induslady, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. Induslady

    Induslady Administrator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Here is a good piece of article giving tips on writing. It is written by one of our members Sharada (Click here to know about her) and was published in one of the supplements of Deccan Herald on 23rd October 2005.

    Sharada was kind enough send us this article for the benefit of all our members who are interested in writing and are budding writers. Here is what Sharada wrote when she sent the article to us...

    "As the love letter contest date is soon approaching, I'm sure many writers will benefit from the tips I have given in this article! This is the original and unedited piece - without the deccan herald editor's additions/deletions.
    Happy reading!
    Regds,
    Sharada"

    A Disciplined Approach


    When people holding Master’s degrees casually tell me that they are not “used to” writing I am taken aback. “How did they get their Master’s degree if they didn’t write?” I wonder. Schooling begins with learning the Alphabet, making three letter words and constructing sentences. Observe a group of 6 year old children in class. With great concentration a child will grip his pencil and try to fit the words between the lines. Somewhere along the way they lose interest. A handful learn to express themselves more lucidly and they are said to have a flair for the language. Even if you do possess a flair for writing, unless you actually start putting your thoughts together rationally you cannot develop your ideas.

    The best means of communicating is through writing. The spoken word is lost somewhere in the atmosphere. Great speeches are often quoted – but for it to make history it is usually written and passed on. Writing well is an acquired art – it is like learning to paint with words. If you have enthusiasm and interest in writing, the techniques are easy to follow. It’s like cooking – everyone does it, but some do it better even though they may use the same ingredients!

    Read More

    What you read influences how you write and can become your teacher without your being aware of it. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Reading</st1:City></st1:place> is also a great way to conquer writers' block. <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Reading</st1:City></st1:place> helps exercise your mind and get your ideas moving again.

    Write More

    You've heard it before, but this advice never gets old: practice makes perfect. The more writing you do, the better you'll get. Write something everyday. You have to keep on writing to brush up your skills. And as your skills improve, so will your enjoyment.

    How to begin

    Assuming that you are keen on writing an article, but haven’t got kick started as yet, these are general guidelines. Begin by brainstorming topics, collecting information, taking down notes, and asking a lot of questions. Keep your notes and sources organized.

    When developing your topic, look for patterns and relationships. See what conclusions you can draw. Try discussing your ideas with colleagues or friends. A new perspective can help shake up your thinking, and keep your momentum going.

    Develop an outline to help you stay on track as you write, identifying your main points and what you want to conclude. Keep in mind the basic article and structure:

    The introduction should give your reader an idea of the article’s intent, including a basic statement of what will follow.

    The body presents the evidence that supports your idea. Use concrete examples wherever possible and avoid generalities.

    The conclusion should summarize and make sense of the evidence you presented in the body.

    You may find as you write that you end up with a different idea than the one you began with. If your first topic or conclusion doesn't hold water, be open to changing it. If necessary, re-write your outline to get yourself back on track.

    Other important writing tips

    Write for the general reader, unless you have been asked to write for a specific target group – e.g. Educationists/Scientists. "The general reader" refers to anyone of average intelligence with a fairly sound, basic education.

    Get acquainted with the vocabulary. Never throw words around merely to impress.
    Become familiar with the vocabulary of your subject. For example, when writing about fiction, drama, and poetry, writers can use words such as: syntax, tone, attitude, voice, speaker and hyperbole. Proof read and refine once you are through with the article. Take a break and come back to your writing with fresh eyes. Ask yourself:


    § Is the writing clear?

    § Do the ideas make sense?

    § Did I avoid repetition?

    § Have I used proper grammar and spelling?

    § How does it sound when it is read out?

    You can show your draft to someone whose language abilities are good. A fresh perspective can help you polish your article, and catch inconsistencies and mistakes.

    Courses can give you the guidance and confidence to develop your own writing style. With the rapid growth of on-line courses you can even opt for an on-line creative writing course. Most of the on-line courses are short but if you are a novice at writing it would be advisable to pick a classroom course where you can interact with the lecturer.

    Start writing now!

    SHARADA PRAHLADRAO

     
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  2. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    DISCUSS - "Writing Skills"

    Hello Everybody,
    Haven't we all tried our hands at creative writing at some point or other in our life. Read the article "Writing Skills" by Sharada, a new author of IL web site and come and post your views about it.
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Sharada, you are very charming !

    Dear Sharada,
    I have been wanting to ask you to send me your photo - now I L has done it ! When I see the delightful photos of youngsters like you, Ambika & Sridhar, I feel I have really punished the I L community with my photo - law of averages ?
    I have had time to just browse through your articles - yet to " chew & digest them" !
    You have made writing & speaking look very simple & natural. But I think both need a lot of effort, for a person like me. Expressing oneself needs clarity of mind & more than that, simple but effective words. I am still in the stage of " groping for the right words" ! Anyway I do hope you articles will help me in self-improvement !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  4. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    thanks

    Dear Chithra,
    Thanks for referring to me as a "youngster!" My son is going to turn 21 this June - when I look at him I wonder where the years have flown. When I look into the mirror I see myself as a carefree 21 year old, imagining that the world is my oyster; I look again and the reflection is of a woman trying to balance housework, a toddler and saying goodbye to her sailor husband; now I avoid looking into the mirror as I see the lines of worry and the once pretty face is plain. However, I fervently hope that like you, I evolve into a beautiful person.
    IL had asked for my pics aeons ago - I kept postponing it! Last week I asked my son to take a few pics and I uploaded two to IL. Now you can match the writer with the written! You don't need any tips on self-improvement - all of us at IL flock to you for advice (and recipes of course!). There is so much one can learn from you Chithra - but I'll sign off saying that knowing you has enriched my life.
    Sharada
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    You Lie, Sharada!

    Dear Sharada,
    I think you should include it somewhere in your article that one should never write lies.
    For you yourself have lied when you said that looking into the mirror nowadays you see a plain woman. Either you blatantly lie or you don't know the meaning of the word plain or you need to consult a good opthamologist.

    Your picture has captured the real beauty in you in the same way your words bring out that beaty for all of us to read and enjoy.
    Good work and more importantly good picture.
    I must share an interesting incident in this connection. Two years back one of my very moving stories was published by Kumudam a leading Tamil weekly. It was part of some "short story festival" and I was asked to give a picture of mine and a write-up both of which they published.

    Many friends (like Sunithalal) called up to say that the words (I had given a flowery words of praise to myself, a favourable pastime of many writers) correctly portray me while the picture does not.
    When it was my wife's turn to comment she said (without knowing the other comment) your picture truly represents you whilst the words do not. They are too much for you and are meant for a writer far greater than you.

    howzzat?
    Varalotti
     
  6. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    flattered!

    Thanks for the flattery and boosting my sagging morale! What are friends for anyway!I'm not lying when I say that I see a plain Jane in the mirror - the passage of time has taken away youth and beauty and replaced it with different attributes - some good and some not so good! But it sure feels good to know that there are people rooting for you!
    Your wife's comment must have sent you reeling - but flaws are magnified in a close relationship - and she has seen you warts and all. That's why she remarked on your looks. But the writing is your own and reveals your intuitive and wise mind - that's why she saw greatness in that and couldn't relate that to the everyday, mundane Varalotti criticising the avial or arguing with her!
    thanks - the Leo is purring contentedly!
    Sharada
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Dr. Sharada!

    I have this habit of naming all the Counsellors, Psychiatrists in my stories, Sharada. This habit came in long before I came to know of you. And now you have proved that you deserve your name. For you have done a psycho-analysis of my wife's statement and have pinpointed the reason. I especially like the expression "warts and all" Conveys a lot of meaning. Good analysis, Dr.Sharada.
    Varalotti
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  8. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    Gwarsh!

    Gwarsh,

    the way you all write -- Varalotti, Sharada and of course MrsCV , though not an 'official writer' , is breathtaking! I referred to wordsmyth.net for the meaning of "warts and all"!!! I feel so awed and so small before all you guys!

    Keep Rocking!!!

    Purnima
     
  9. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Very True........u people are just "ROCKING"

    ..................................I dont thinkI have anything to write here......................words failure.................
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Anyone can Write!

    Dear Purnima and AGR,
    thanks for your posts which is definitely very flattering to us writers. I'll tell you a secret. I was not a born writer. I grew as a writer, because I was writing,writing all the time. Writing is one of the core-competencies of my profession. And whether it is a reply to an income tax demand, or an unpleasant communication to the client reminding him of our overdue bills, the skill gets honed with practice.
    After trying various methods my sincere suggestion to both of you is this. If you want to swim, just jump in the water and start swimming. Over two weeks you will become an expert swimmer. So is the case with writing. The great writer Sinclair was asked to give a lecture to an audience of students all of whom wanted to be writers.
    He finished his speech in less than 30 seconds.
    "All of you want to write?"
    "YES" The sound of the chorus reached the sky.
    "Then what are you waiting for? Just go home. Write, write and write."
    It may sound simple and even simplistic but it is a profound truth.
    Try writing some diary at first. Never mind about publication. Indusladies is a wonderful forum to try your writing skills.
    Observe life. Write about anything that interests you. Correct the draft several times and then post it in the snippets thread.
    wish you all the best.
    regards,
    sridhar
     

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