A Concise Manual on Writing Skills
edited: Sunday, October 28, 2007
By krishna prakash
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2007
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Article and Book Writing Skills for you!
Writing – an art!
1. The simplest method to express your view is to write it! When you speak you cannot correct what is spoken but when you put the same in writing you can always go back and correct the content for appropriateness. This is the greatest advantages of preparation (writing) before plunging into action (speech or any external expressions).
2. Apart from preparation, when we write we can then edit the content for brevity, clarity, appropriateness, expressiveness, choice of better words, grammar and finally ornamentation.
3. Writing brings in a discipline in thought, word and action. Gradually this preparedness would reflect in our other form of communication that we always tend to use i.e. speaking! In today’s day and age, people are “quick to react” than to “wait and respond.” We can move from a reactor to responder if we learn to use this skill.
4. We tend to associate the word “communication skills” only with speaking skills but in reality speaking is only one of the 3 skills of communication – Writing, Listening and Speaking (all forms of presentations are included here).
5. You cannot complain anymore that no one is listening to you. While writing, you yourself are listening (think on this statement for a while)! It is now scientifically proven that writing down one’s experiences has a therapeutic effect. People who write dairies or journals feel emotionally better and relaxed. Consciously or unconsciously they have found a way to download the burden of their thoughts, ideas and experiences. These things cannot be weighed using a scale nor if we stand in a weighing scale would our weight show an increase. These are emotional weights that bog or tie down the mind! Writing helps us to release this heaviness and thus relaxes us.
6. Having understood the importance of writing, now we should realise that the preliminary focus should be in just recording the thoughts without attempting to judge or edit it. Questions such as how should it be written or what are the better words to use, should not be entertained.
7. Presentation and ornamentation should definitely not be the primary focus. It is like a sculptor choosing a stone. For the outsider, initially the boulder chosen by the sculptor doesn’t make sense. It is after that choice the sculptor decides how to go about bringing out the sculpture buried in the guise of a boulder. So the first step is to produce content.
8. If we are first timers then it tends to be autobiographical. Do not bother. It helps you to relive your cherished moments or learn from the not-so-great moments. This will help us to repeat the former and not repeat the latter! Thus the process of writing in itself is a teacher.
9. Once the draft is ready then get it edited for grammar, if required, than style of presentation or content. This will help you to preserve the originality of your expression. The content should reflect your experience in the way you want and not the way the editor has dealt his or her life. Consult the editor mainly for grammar, presentation, flow and narration.
10. Once you finish the content. Then brainstorm for a suitable cover page. Go to the near by bookstore and find out the colours and fonts that attract you. If you notice, we are working on the presentation only after completion of the content. Presentation will help you to get a start but at the end of the day the sale is always determined by the inherent quality of the book. Kindly remember not to confuse the gift wrapper (external presentation) and the gift (content)!