17 May 2014

What makes good, nay great writing?

(Possibly a lack of using the pretentious 'nay' unless you happen to be Shakespeare...) I began attending a writing course a few weeks ago, and it's profoundly changing the way I think about words.
I've never been a writer, and I'm still not. I can cobble together a decent formal letter, and slap an essay up with relative ease, but they're both structured presentations and explanations of research, not really writing.

 A rose by any other name...

Our teacher says quite simply, but rather powerfully, "you need to tell a story". Pretty obvious, but rather tough in practise at times (especially when you're rolling out posts 6 days a week and working full time). But, lame excuses aside, every word has a cosy sentence niche for a reason. Why pick 'splodge' over 'droplet', 'azure' over 'blue' or use a sprinkle of the occasional raison d'ĂȘtre? (Carefully spell checked. Most of the time). There is a rhythm to thoughtful writing, a natural flow of phrasing that doesn't overwhelm the subject, but supports the idea and punctuates the ethos of a sentence.
 Feel the rhythym, feel the rhyme!
It's also a challenge trying to find that delicate balance between telling your personal story, and allowing it to overwhelm the tapestry of your subject. Also, the danger of being sterile - quite simply why would anybody bother reading something 'magnolia' in composition?

 All in all you're just another snail on the wall...
This isn't a cry for attention, a backwards request for a slap on the back, but simply train of musings that cried for tapping out. I've published 589 post on this here corner of t'internet but, hand on heart, I can say that I've sent around dozen posts into the ether that I would share as examples of decently expressed thought.

That said, in many ways I'm rather stoked with every post I hit that publish button on - they are a part of me, an expression for some kind of hidden emotion. Sometimes it's simply an unfulfilled craving for an eggs benedict hit, sometimes a desperation to share an unusual corner we're discovered. The nice thing (sorry, terrible phrase) joy of blogging is the flexibility of pretty well whatever you like. If I want to thread singing a song through a restaurant review, I can. If I want to add a post where I say nothing at all, I can. All I know is that it doesn't seem to scare you lot off...

What is the blog post or piece of writing you're proudest of?

Twitter | Google+ | Facebook | Bloglovin' | Email

8 comments :

  1. In my first years of blogging, I can certainly confirm that there have been some pretty bad written articles - specially at the beginning. Being English my third language, I first started blogging to become more "fluent" in written communication and learn how to engage a reader with compelling stories.


    I see progress in my writings, and that's what keeps me absolutely motivated to continue doing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good to look back and remind yourself how far you've come. But, English being your third language makes it all the more incredible!

      Delete
  2. I think the piece I did for your blog is the best one I've done, Emma! :) :) I have another bit I've written that's not in a blog post yet, but I want it to be (check it out on the reading room) :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I simply adore your guest post, and the imagery of your other one - it felt as thought I was there again.

      Delete
  3. I'm not a writer, but I do really enjoy writing my blog. I write how I speak though, and I'm sure that's not so eloquent :) I love your writing and stories, you really paint pictures in my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto that - slang & all! I love the way you write, it's you!

      Delete
  4. I love blog reading for that very idea that is exactly what the person wants to say with no boss or editor coming in and changing the feeling of the post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your writing. You use big words that I have to look up in a dictionary and that impresses me mightily. What is most true is that your personality shines though in your writing and I enjoy that. My two best pieces, in my humble opinion, were "Lille and the Art of Zen Travelling" and "A Moment in Riomaggiore".

    ReplyDelete

So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...