blog | 4min Read
Published on May 19, 2021
I was 12 when I was left spellbound. I had just read the Harry Potter franchise. And I couldn’t help but marvel at how the author had crafted such a myriad of magical elements, deadly mysteries, heart-wrenching losses and awe-inspiring friendships. All contained in that stack of seven books. And that was when I realised the power of writing. Be it historical moments like the stroke of midnight of 14 August 1947, when Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous ‘A Tryst with Destiny’. That written speech is still taught to students in high school and has the ability to inspire. As an ardent reader, I can vouch that persuasive writing can do wonders.
But why even write?
Now, all of us won’t end up as a laureate like Shakespeare, but that’s the thing about writing. It’s an outlet to express your feelings- love, frustration, anger, grief, hope, guilt etc. Nothing is right and wrong or better and worse. When you write, you just vent out your pent up emotions.
Writing is a great weapon when it comes to fighting for social change and empowerment, which is wielded by the likes of Amanda Gorman and Maya Angelou. Words are an embodiment of what you believe in. You just have to channel your experiences and inner self into them.
With writing, we can forge realms of fantasies and fictions, which bring in a much-needed escape and respite from the real world. If one isn’t happy or satisfied with their reality, they get to write their own version of it. Writing gives wings to the stranded mind.
So, to all the budding writers reading this article, here is a novice’s guide to kick-start and develop your writing journey.
Start small. Start now.
You can begin small and then build up. Start with writing a personal journal, just for yourself. Be open and honest since there is no one to judge. Observe your progress gradually. You can even try your hand at poetry. Inculcate the habit of writing daily. You can go on to create social media handles and websites where you can publish your work as blogs. Validation from the public will act as an incentive and be a great confidence booster. You also get to collaborate with like-minded individuals on the social network. You can showcase your talent via any medium.
Books are the keys that unlock the realm of imagination. They broaden our perspectives, open up new horizons, and nourish our mind. If you wish to be a wordsmith, being an avid reader is indispensable. Your experience as a reader will help you grow into a writer.
Don’t commit a faux pas.
Get your facts and grammar straight. It is of utmost importance that your content is grammatically and factually correct. A mistake in this regard is as bad as making a fashion faux pas at the Cannes red carpet. To steer clear of such a predicament, cultivate a habit of running your written pieces through the Grammarly scan.
Don’t be like Shashi Tharoor, aka a “walking dictionary”.
While it’s a good practice to have dictionaries for breakfast, it’s not wise to use too many jargons or tough, uncommon words in your content. Or else it starts to sound like gobbledygook. If a reader has to look up the meanings more than twice, their flow breaks, which results in them losing their interest.
Maintain brevity. Be straightforward.
Your content has to be concise and crystal clear. Don’t beat around the bush unnecessarily. No one has all the time in the world to read what you’ve written. Your writing and its purpose should be conspicuous at the first skim.
Ensure coherence and fluency.
It is understood that using elaborate and sophisticated adjectives and adverbs is tempting, but it makes your content all the more time-consuming to read. Try and use more nouns and verbs. Here’s an example for you:
He fastly ran up the hill.
The above sentence can be replaced by the following one:
He shot up the hill.
There’s always a good chance of a single verb replacing your lengthy adjective or adverb.
Know your audience.
You need to be well-aware of your target audience and have knowledge of what they want or care about. This allows you to tailor your writing in a way that is more impactful and valuable to them.
Support your arguments with facts.
Whenever you have to prove your point or win an argument, support it with factual and statistical data. It creates a strong impression and makes it hard for someone to dismiss it.
Show, don’t tell.
To the Potterheads reading this, remember that scene from Deathly Hallows when the Battle of Hogwarts was being fought? Remember yearning for a more emotive end of Fred, Tonks and Lupin? Remember craving more of rejoicing when the battle was won? But for heaven’s sake, J.K. Rowling wouldn’t give it to us! And that’s precisely what makes the Harry Potter franchise so phenomenal. Good writers don’t exaggerate with words, which allows the readers to live the story. They don’t give them the complete satisfaction, which leaves the readers reeling for more, keeping them on the edge of their seats.
Add a personal touch.
This is the cherry on the top. A personal touch can never go wrong. It helps the reader to relate and forms a good connection with them. It makes the piece honest and genuine. A huge example can be seen in the Harry Potter franchise, again, wherein J.K. Rowling has depicted her own childhood in the bespectacled protagonist’s aka Harry’s life.
Given that these are some of the vital ingredients for writing a decent piece, the crux lies in channelising your thoughts, manifesting your emotions, and weaving the words in a gripping way. Start with a heightened passion, add zeal, and mix in your creativity and observation skills. You’ll end up creating quite a convincing piece of art.