Some consider writing an indigenous art that is innate in us, while others firmly believe that it is a science which can be learnt and improved upon with time. But whatever the different beliefs may be, we all want to write well. While there may not be a Stephen Hawking or Sidney Sheldon living in us, but we can still be quintessential writers by following a few easy steps. However, before you start on your journey to know how to be a good writer, you must remember that it is essential to be a good “reader” first. A true manifestation of this theory is seen when renowned American writer, Stephen King, endorses this point by saying, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Read, Read and Read some more!
As already stated above, you must first read as much as you can. From magazines to editorials and from fiction to non-fiction, it is imperative that you broaden your reading capacity. Besides increasing your knowledge base, you will unintentionally grasp the writing styles of different authors - an amalgamation of which will be portrayed through your own.
Increase your vocabulary
Pen is mightier than the sword; we’ve all heard that one. But to get that pen moving on a blank paper, we must first increase our vocabulary. This has two advantages; whilst writing, not only will you NOT get stuck on a particular word and end up breaking your writing tempo, but use of adjectives and vocabulary also lights up your writing. This helps the reader vividly understand what you, as a writer, are trying to convey. Great writers have the prowess to effortlessly transport you to the world they have sketched.
Avoid the use of passive verbs
If you have been having difficulty in the reading of this line… then it is because passive verbs were used. Passive verbs negatively impact the readability of a content, hindering a free and fluent flow of expression.
Pay attention to language
Avoid most commonly used phrases and ineffectual words. These include, “basically, actually, definitely etc.” If you do want to emphasize on a point, then phrase your sentence in a way that it oozes out its importance.
Grammar is important!
Humans have an intrinsic ability (unfortunately) to not take anyone/anything they consider inferior seriously. This same rule applies to bad grammar. Irrespective of how intelligent your idea/topic may be, but if your write-up is an epitome of flawed grammar, your reader will be put off. It will not have the same impact you wanted to make, if it is read at all!
Choose an interesting topic
The success of your write-up is as much based on how you write as on WHAT you write. Choosing a topic that hits a few sane nerves of the readers is a sure way to climb up the ladder. Why do you think newspapers come up with attention-grabbing headlines and novelists brainstorm for indelible titles for their books? This is to entice readers to actually read. If the topic of your write-up doesn’t interest the reader, all your efforts at flawless writing will go down the drain. Figuratively and literally.
Review your writing
“Write with the door closed, and rewrite with the door open.” This is another quote by Stephen King, one of the greatest novelists of all times. What this means is you should write with no holds barred. But when it comes to reviewing your piece, it must be done with a skeptical eye to bring it as close to perfection as possible.