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Showing posts from December, 2010

What Makes a Good Writer?

There is no definitive answer to this question, but we can say that many elements work together to make a good writer.

Writing isn’t just about knowing how to spell and put words in order, or how to tell a good tale. It isn’t about how many creative writing degrees you have either, because if you don’t have the raw talent to begin with, then your writing will just remain average.

If anything, a good writer has the ability to entertain us, to bring out our emotions, to make us empathise, to make us understand and to take us on a journey. That’s because writing is an art form; it takes a great deal of creativity and passion, as well as practical application, to achieve this. I must point out that having a creative writing degree of some sort does not qualify you to automatic publication. The truth is, and this will sound harsh, while it helps you understand the techniques of creative writing, it doesn’t teach you the talent of writing. Rather like painting and drawing, the ability to w…

Why is Reading Important for Writing?

So, you have to like reading in order to like writing...

Well, no, that’s not always the case. Some people hate reading, but love writing, while others read as much as they can and love writing.  But why is reading important to any writer? What difference would it make, if any? 

Reading novels can make quite a difference, in fact.  Although reading novels isn’t a necessity, it certainly helps if you’re a committed writer with the aim to publish your novels/stories. Even if you dislike reading, by reading a wide range of fiction novels, not just the genre you plan to write, or what you are used to writing, really does widen your skills as a writer. Reading different genres gives you an appreciation of styles and voices and the unique ways that writers approach their work.

Whether you choose the classics or contemporary authors to read, there is a lot you can learn from them. Consider them as teachers; they can show us everything we need to know about the basics of fiction writing, so …

Creating Four Dimensional Characters

Four-dimensional characters? Is that possible?

When we talk about four-dimensional characters, we are talking not in terms of physics and mathematics, but rather metaphysics. Rather than science, we are dealing with personalities and emotions, their being in the world you’ve created for them.

We tend to think of our fictional characters as real people, and more often than not, our characters are drawn from, or based on, real people. Our job is to make our characters seem real to those who read our stories.

We’ve all heard that characters should be three dimensional – that the three dimensions should encompass length, width and depth. This means they would have height, weight and a personality, but the fourth dimension brings something else entirely.


First and Second Dimensions

Width and depth - These dimensions encompass the physical aspects of your characters, how tall or short they are, what weight they are, what they look like generally, what their skin colour is and so on. These…

Using the Senses

How often do you use the senses when writing? Probably not enough. The senses are the most amazing tool available to a writer, yet the most underused. This is probably down to simple forgetfulness. We tend to overlook some of the senses when we describe scenes, but by including them, we can enrich our writing.

The most important tool in creative writing is observation. When you want to convey any scene, you highlight the colours, the people, situations and everything else around you by bringing the narrative to life. More importantly, you will be using the five senses to convey to the reader a sense of belonging to your writing.

Observation brings in the five senses:

• What can you hear?
• What can you taste?
• What can you touch?
• What can you smell?
• What can you see?

Using these senses is important when constructing your prose. Your reader will want to see and feel the scene – that means the background, the people, the actual setting. They will want to smell the scene – what odo…