This author writes damn good! What author doesn’t want to hear that? And who is immune to sentences like, the idea is quite good, but the author can’t write! Good writing, we use the phrase regularly. But is good writing not just relative?
Downright, It Is!
The answer of whether you write good or not is in the underlying criterion. What does that mean?
There is not just one way to good writing. There are many.
But what kinds of good writing are there now? And how do they work?
I give you the answers in this article.
It is quite doubtful that it makes any sense to speak of good writing. Isn’t everything allowed in creative writing? Some aspects suggest that there is no such thing as good writing.
Choose any novel and read some reviews on Amazon. Take a book with five stars and a book with one star. Now, is the book good or bad? Can the author write tremendous or is he an unspeakable bungler?
Life would get boring if everyone liked the same thing. With reading it’s the same idea.
It depends on your previous life and reading experience, your personal preferences, your character, and many other factors that make up what kind of literature you like. The verdict that an author can write well is therefore always highly subjective.
The argument of good or bad writing can lead to adopting certain writing rules,
Show don’t tell by applying pictorial language
Use many verbs, but little adjectives and adverbs
if you search around you will find many more.
Good writing, the idea is close, you have to learn these rules and apply them to make it work. But that’s precisely what will prevent you from developing your writing skills.
Behind all the above points is a useful concept. However, if you understand them as written in stone and thereby lose your laxity, they are more likely to hinder you and your writing.
Many factors make you a good novelist. Not all of them are mandatory, and each author has his unique combination. However, if you lack crucial knowledge and skills, this can prevent you from writing well.
Good writing, what should that be? The answer is not easy. Because good writing always results from an interaction of different competencies.
Here some information that can help you write good,
You have life experience!
You have something to say!
You have a good sense of language!
You master the tools of storytelling!
You develop captivating stories from ideas!
You build your writing voice!
The limitations mentioned don’t mean that there is no such thing as good writing.
However, to decide whether someone is good at writing or not, or better yet whether a text is well written or not, we need matching criteria. That’s the only way we understand what we’re talking about, and it’s the only way we can improve our writing. When others criticise us or when we look at our texts critically.
Of course, you can only write for yourself without you wanting to reach people with your texts. In therapeutic or mindful writing we develop our personality further, without the text as a result.
However, if you want people to read your text, it will be relevant to know for who you are writing. Whether a text is good or bad has a lot to do with it.
The all-important step is to write for the audience. You should know your readership. It’s best if you have a clear picture of who will read your book later.
As is common in marketing, you can design an avatar for it, a kind of ideal reader. Of course, this persona will not suit all future readers. However, you have a clear idea of who your writing is for, and it helps to write for a particular audience. And finding readers will be easier later.
The following will help you design your ideal reader.
What else does he/she read?
Which are his / her favourite authors?
Which topics interest him/her?
What does he/she anticipate from a novel?
What are his / her life circumstances and demographic data?
Based on your ideal reader, you can clarify their expectations. That will help you to have a clear idea of what you want to do with your writings.
Is your ideal reader a fan of fantasy novels? Then you should be aware of what makes an outstanding fantasy novel and what expectations the reader has. When writing, you have to remember that.
Or does your ideal reader only read e-literature and expect an excellent novel to be a serious contribution to social debates? Then you should realise this demand while writing.
Depending on the piece you write, you are more or less bound by expectations. If you write a booklet, there are clear guidelines for the story. Your readers expect a specific course and you have to serve that expectation. The peculiarity of the plot and the characters then takes place within a very narrow framework.
The more demanding your writings are in the literary sense, the more you move in the field of e-literature, the freer you are. However, it will probably become all the more challenging to find a publisher for your work or to reach a specific readership through self-marketing,
However narrow or wide the limits of expectation are for you, you should always seek a balance with your creativity. Even if you can clearly place your writings in a particular subgenre and it complies with its rules, it should have something new, its own.
And even if your novel does not belong to a specific genre, but as sophisticated fiction, is considered narrative literature, you should be aware of the expectations of your readers to your work.
People read novels for different reasons. Some simply want to be entertained well, and others see literature as an art form. To write well in the literary literature, that’s up next.
What does good literature actually mean in the literary sense?
The question of what the specifically literary literature is can be called its self-referentiality. In this sense, a good novel always reflects on its own beingness.
The distinction between history and discourse goes back to structuralism and has become very important in literary studies.
The term history refers to the plot, i.e. the actual story of a novel, the term discourse designates the text as such.
Among other things, this is about the plot, the narrative style, the narrative perspective and much more.
Based on this distinction, the particularity of a literary text decides on the level of the discourse. The how is in this sense more decisive than the what.
The same story can also be told as a film or orally, the actual of the novel must be correspondingly in its style in its narrative or linguistic feature.
We understand literature as a field in which cultural currents and social debates can be picked up, mirrored and processed.
Especially a novel as a large literary form makes it possible to bring various aspects of life in interaction and reflect with literary means.
A good novel lets different discourses meet and opens up a new perspective on the present, the past or the future.
As to the question of what makes good writing, we may start by looking at the individual author. The criterion for a good text is then no longer to fulfil specific patterns, expectations or literary demands. Instead, it’s about writing as it suits the individual author.
Not everyone writes the same. There are different approaches to writing. It’s imperative that you find out for yourself which way of writing you care for the most.
Often a distinction is made between outliners and gut writers. The former plan every single aspect of their story in advance, the latter is surprised by the actions of their characters and develop the story and the plot during the writing process.
This distinction is extremely confusing. For one thing, there is hardly any author who can clearly be assigned to one of the two categories, because most of the time there are mixed forms.
On the other hand, for the emergence of a novel, the back and forth between planning and writing is often more decisive than the question of how much of the story has already been worked out in advance.
For you, it’s important to find out which way you write best. Be guided by hints and advice, but be sure to go your own way. You ultimately recognise your way by trying it out different things.
There are countless tips on how to write. But in the end, we all write in our unique way.
Your writing type is not just about your methods. You should also develop an awareness of areas you feel most comfortable.
Would you like to write quirky crime novels?
Romance novels for women over 60?
Or are thrillers exactly your thing?
Maybe you see yourself as a writer with a distinctive literary interest and don’t want to be part of any entertainment literature.
However, it’s no less important that you get a clear idea of what you write.
Which topics make your writing special?
What connects you to it?
What personal writing or narrative style is yours?
For many, good writing is less about the story and much more the way it’s written. In this context, we speak of a good writing style.
But what exactly is that supposed to be?
And how can you achieve it?
There are many different writing styles. Texts with eternally long sentences can be incredibly good as well as those with terse sentences. And in both cases, it can, stylistically, go wrong. The same applies to the use of adjectives, the use of linguistic images, nominalisations and so on.
Concrete style tips make you want to leave a certain idiom and absolutely use another, that’s aiming at the void. Of course, there can be something tangible regarding specific advice. However, it can’t commonly be generalised.
More helpful than concrete tips to improve your style are principles. Through them, you will learn what’s actually behind individual suggestions. And so you improve your writing sustainably, instead of just superficially fiddling with your works.
Some Key Points
Important principles to consider on the way to your style.
The consistency of your writing!
Autonomy of your idiom!
A textual rhythm that supports the story!
A successful game with language!
The development of your style requires a lot of practice. It’s advisable that you rework your writings in detail and become aware of possible shortcomings.
To better understand what good writing means is quite interesting.
But what if you don’t improve your writing at all?
How do you best implement the acquired knowledge?
Writing is always a lonely activity, but not exclusively. Sharing with other authors gives you a new perspective on your writings. Find a writing seminar, a writing workshop, a writing group or an author coach. Even a trip with others can be an exceptional experience.
Here you discuss concrete examples and sharpen your understanding of your writings. It’s wise that you secure binding feedback rules to develop yourselves in an appreciative atmosphere.
The reading of writing guides is always smart. However, there are tremendous numbers of guides, and you can’t read everything.
Find out which guides are recommended by authors or writing trainers, and start with the topics that are most difficult for you.
You should utterly avoid getting too much theory and forgetting the actual writing. Only by genuinely writing will you get better.
No matter how much you want to be a good writer, there is no way around practice. The development of your very own, literarily sophisticated style may take a little longer than the way to a successful novel. But in both cases, you will improve your writing only through daily practice.
In that sense, go on, go practice. Drop me a line along the way.
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