The art of writing is the ability to clothe human experience in literary form. Writing is a special craft that requires adherence to various techniques and canons. In order to excel in various fields of this art, such as writing scientific, journalistic, technical or artistic works, it is required to have a bachelor's or master's degree in philology, literature or journalism.
Method 1 of 3: Finding Inspiration
Step 1. Decide what you want to write
Fiction is subdivided into genres such as poetry, story, novella, novel, or even specific subtypes such as mysticism. If you find it difficult to decide what you want to write, you need to be guided by what you would like to read. Your best piece should be about something that you are passionate about. If your manuscript is saturated with inspiration, it will return to you a hundredfold in the form of increased interest from readers in what is written. Providing inspiration from your manuscript will serve as a starting point for starting your writing career.
There is no need to set a framework and limit yourself to any one area. Many successful writers expand their boundaries and begin to try themselves in new genres - they write works of fiction, at the same time publish scientific work, and in the collection of their short stories you can find poetry
Step 2. Choose a convenient work schedule for yourself
Determine the time of day, place, and environment in which you will feel comfortable writing. Once you define your routine, the creative part of your nature will gradually adjust to work in these conditions. It is worth paying attention to such nuances:
- Noise: Some writers prefer to create in absolute silence. Others listen to music because it is a source of inspiration to them. Others prefer to be with friends in order to generate new ideas.
- Timing: Some writers collect their thoughts before bed. Others prefer to create in the morning hours because most people are still asleep and do not interfere with them. Still others prefer to be busy and write at lunchtime. Others like to work in a period when there is a lot of free time, so they devote all weekends to writing.
- A place. Choose a room, room or even an armchair in which you will feel comfortable creating. This will help your brain tune in and get creative with your goals.
Step 3. Read and Learn
Reread your favorite works and analyze them. Find out what makes them so entertaining and popular? Try to understand the structure of your favorite poem, or follow the development of the heroes of your favorite novel. Take note of the sentences you think are great, and ask yourself why the author chose this phrasing?
You don't need to limit yourself to any one genre or area. In order to enrich your text with experience, you must become a researcher to some extent. You may not like fantasy, but other people love to read and write in this genre for a good reason. Read such books under the motto: “I read in order to write. I am reading to learn something new. I read for inspiration. "
Step 4. Become a researcher
Notice the smallest details in the world around you. Take a look around. Find riddles for yourself and try to solve them. If you have questions, seek answers with obsessive interest. Pay attention to anything weird or unusual. When you start writing, what you see will help you write things that are truly life and interesting and will enrich your language with new metaphors. What to consider in your studies of the outside world:
- Remember: nothing in the world can be boring and ordinary. Everything has its own flavor and strangeness.
- Before you is a riddle: a TV that does not turn on in any way, a bird that does not fly. Find out the mechanism of action of this or that thing, in which cases it does not work and why.
- Pay close attention to detail. The leaves are not just green, they are laced with a long, thin retina and resemble a shovel in shape.
Step 5. Keep a diary
Write in it about what you see around you, what inspires you. Carry it with you everywhere. Many famous writers even specially made extra pockets in their jackets to carry more scraps of paper with them. Use your journal to generate new ideas, take notes of what you see and hear, or just make edits to your manuscript. And then, if you get stumped when writing your work, you can draw inspiration from the diary. You can take notes about anything, because everything in the world around you can be a source of inspiration. For example:
- Dreams: this is the main source of everything strange and unusual. Write down their contents before you forget.
- Pictures: photographs and drawings.
- Quotes: favorite sayings from other people, little rhymes, fortune cookie inserts.
Step 6. Start writing your piece
This is the most important and difficult part. Many of us sit for hours at a computer monitor and do not know what to write about. Some call it a creative crisis. Simple exercises can help you to inspire and provide material for writing your manuscript.
- Go to a noisy, crowded place. Imagine that your eyes are a video camera recording what is happening around you. Take your notebook and write in it about everything that happens around you. Write about everything you see, hear, smell or taste, and touch.
- Take a voice recorder with you and eavesdrop on the conversation. But do not show the interlocutors that they are being written down. After you've heard enough, put the conversation down to paper. Play with words - something can be removed, changed or added. Simulate a new situation.
- Come up with characters. What are they aiming for? What are they afraid of? What are their secrets? Who are they related to and where do they live? What surname do they have?
Step 7. Be sure to complete your piece
Do you know how many unfinished novels and stories there are in the world? Billions, maybe even trillions. Set a goal and stick to it, no matter how difficult the job may seem. So you can understand what your soul is in. When you're done writing the piece:
- you will get an idea of what you really want to write about;
- you will improve your writing skills;
- you will learn to be persistent to finish what you started.
Step 8. Become part of the community
Sharing ideas and giving feedback is one way to get inspiration and improve the quality of your writing. Novice authors are always very scared to spread what they have written, because there can be a lot of personal in it, and they are simply afraid that they will be misunderstood. But writing on the table is also not an option, not only because no one reads your work, but also because you may develop a bad style (verbosity, redundancy, pretentiousness, a tendency to pathos or excessive drama). So instead of being scared, think about the fact that each potential reader can give you new ideas and that constructive criticism helps to develop and improve the quality of the text.
Step 9. Make sure that you are financially secure
Being a writer is practically the same as being a superhero: routine office work in the morning, and writing at night, in which you can be a detective, dragon tamer, or a prince on a white horse. Some writers are, of course, unemployed, but there are actually very few of them. Constant work is not bad at all. By the way, she can even help you achieve your goal of becoming a writer. When looking for a permanent job, consider the following factors:
- Will it cover daily expenses? Good work should be profitable enough so that you can provide yourself with everything you need and calmly engage in creativity. For unnecessary excitement and anxiety will negatively affect your work on the work.
- Do you have enough time and energy left after the manuscript writing work? Good work should be simple enough and not too energy intensive so that you don't feel fatigued.
- Does she distract you? Doing something other than writing is very rewarding. If you only work on one project, you will soon get bored with it. Therefore, changing your occupation from time to time will have a very beneficial effect on your creativity.
- Can you meet other creative people in this job? The atmosphere in the team is very important, so it should be pleasant for you to work side by side with your colleagues. By the way, creative people - not just writers and actors - can be found everywhere.
Method 2 of 3: Putting inspiration into words
Step 1. Get your readers' attention
Captivate them with your piece. Get them to read your work without stopping and ask for more. To achieve this effect, use these little tricks:
- The senses. We cognize and perceive the world around us through the prism of feelings. If you want your work to be exciting and fun, get your readers to see, hear, taste, smell and touch reality with you.
- Pay attention to detail. Through them, you can convey a special subtext in the events described in the text. Avoid general phrasing like "She was beautiful", instead, let's give a more detailed description: "She had long golden braids, which were woven with daisies."
Step 2. Write about what you know
If you are good at something, you can describe it in more detail and realistically. If you are missing some details, do your research. Find the information you need online, or ask people who know a specific area. The more information you have about the situation, people, or environment, the more realistic the text will appear on paper.
Step 3. Think over the structure of the story
The classic version is the so-called "linear structure": beginning, climax and denouement. But there are other types of storytelling frameworks. The story can start in the thick of things, or it can mix with memories. Proceed from how, in your opinion, events should develop.
Step 4. Think it over
from which person the story will be conducted. In general, there are nine ways of presenting information. The three main ones are narration from the first, second and third person. If you cannot decide from which person the story will be conducted, think about how much information readers should receive, and based on this in your choice.
The narration is conducted in the first person, the pronoun "I" is used:
- Participation: the narrator is one of the characters in the story; he not only dryly recounts the story, but also expresses his own attitude to the story.
- Isolation: the narrator does not tell his own story, but, for example, the main character.
- Plural (we): collective storyteller, such as a large group of people.
Second-person storytelling. The pronoun "you" is used:
- The narrator addresses himself to "you", trying to drive away unpleasant thoughts, feelings and memories from himself.
- You: a character with a character of its own.
- You: direct address to the reader.
- You: the reader is the protagonist in the story.
Third-person narration: character names are used:
- Omniscient: The narrator knows everything, has complete freedom of action and authority over the story, and freely and openly expresses his judgments.
- Limited: Something is missing from this narrative. It resembles a narrow window with small loopholes due to lack of information.
- Thoughts and experiences of one of the characters. Harry Potter focuses on Harry's thoughts and experiences.
- Direct observer. The narrator describes the situation, but cannot isolate from it the feelings and experiences of the characters.
- The narrator seems to be peeping through the keyhole, spying, calculating the situation in advance, but is limited by what he sees through a narrow gap, and does not have all the information.
Method 3 of 3: General Writing Rules
Step 1. Start with simple words
Simplicity and brevity is the sister of talent. While you will undoubtedly need a large explanatory vocabulary, long and complex sentences will baffle readers. Start small. You should not indulge in verbiage and write pretentious and pompous texts just because they sound beautiful. Make it a goal to make your text clear and easy to understand. No more, no less.
Step 2. Start with simple, short sentences
They are clear and readable. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot write long and complex sentences. It's just that shorter sentences convey information faster to the reader and do not force him to stumble upon an iceberg of misunderstanding.
Read the following famous long adage. It took second place in a satire competition on how to write unnecessarily. And it's not a secret to anyone why this is considered "bad". It is jaded with jargon and catchphrases and is very long in itself.
“If desire were bound by a box and counted like a mathematical example, we would be drowning in an ocean of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstitions, false authority and classification; of course, this can be seen as a desperate attempt to "normalize" society, but in this case all rationality is lost. "
Step 3. Let the verbs do their thing
They add dynamism to the text and connect sentences in meaning. They also allow you to very accurately describe what is happening.
- Pay attention to some “problem” verbs, such as: “was”, “walked”, “felt”, “had”. In general, they are, of course, quite acceptable, but they do not add zest to the text. Therefore, you can use synonyms instead.
Use the active voice instead of the passive voice, make it a rule.
- Active voice: "The cat has found its owner." Here the cat is searching. She is the protagonist.
- Passive voice: "The owner was found by a cat." In this sentence, the cat is a little out of touch with the action. The owner was found, and the cat is not looking for anyone.
Step 4. Don't overdo it with adjectives
They are often abused by aspiring writers. No, there is, of course, nothing wrong with them, except that they can sometimes be redundant and incomprehensible, in comparison with other parts of speech. You don't need to use an adjective next to every noun.
- Sometimes adjectives are superfluous. "I watched as he raised the last pawn and checkmated the king with it, having won a successful victory." Can a victory be unsuccessful? Here the adjective repeats what everyone already knows, and does not carry a semantic load.
- In other cases, adjectives are necessary. For example, he is a strong contender. What is its strength? Mind or physical data? Clarification is simply necessary here.
Step 5. Study dictionaries
Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy. When you come across an unfamiliar word, look for its meaning. You cannot call yourself a good writer if you are not interested in the etymology of words. At the same time, use your vocabulary wisely. Just because you know the meaning of the words “ambivalence,” “agnosticism,” and “cybernetics,” does not mean that you can use them in your text without explanation.
Learn the roots of words. The roots of words, especially Latin borrowings in Russian, will help you decipher the meaning of an unfamiliar word without the help of an explanatory dictionary
Step 6. Be clear about what you mean
It's tempting to use everyday words where you don't need to. Often, when we can't find a word, we use a “good enough” alternative. However, keep in mind that what is acceptable in oral speech may not always work in writing.
- First, the author does not have the opportunity to communicate with readers directly. Therefore, he cannot illustrate his text with facial expressions or gestures in order to clarify the conversation of the characters. The reader is left to himself and can only rely on words to extract the meaning of the work from them.
- Secondly, readers will take what you write literally, because they do not allow the opportunity to ask the writer questions about what exactly he meant. The reader believes that what is written should be understood in the literal sense. If the writer does not make footnotes explaining incomprehensible words or points in the text, then the reader will feel uncomfortable.
Take the time to explain.
Think carefully before you say anything. Choose your words carefully, even if it will take you a long time. The delay in writing is justified if you are choosing the right words to express your idea, and not fiddling with style or plot.
Step 7. Use figurative speech in places, for greater effect, but not constantly
Examples of figurative constructions in speech are metaphors and comparisons. Use them to add a dramatic or comic effect, or to draw readers to some detail. Like the phrase "I love you", figurative speech, with frequent use, loses its strength and color.
Step 8. Do not use too many punctuation marks, but at the same time do not forget to place them in the necessary places
Punctuation marks are subtle but highly significant. It is worth using punctuation marks in less than necessary quantity - and readers will not be able to understand the meaning of the sentences. Remember the notorious "to execute can not be pardoned." Human life will depend on how you place the comma. Go too far with punctuation - and your readers will be distracted from the meaning of what is written. Trust me, no one wants to read sentences that have dashes, commas, and semicolons instead of words.
- Exclamation marks. Use this punctuation mark very carefully. People don't often speak with exclamation intonation, so they can't be used all the time. Leonard Elmore, genius crime fiction writer, said: “Keep your exclamation points in check. They can be used no more often than two or three times per hundred thousand words in prose. "
- Semicolon. The semicolon is used to link sentences with different adjectives, but with a common meaning. But, for example, Kurt Vonnegut opposes the use of this punctuation mark: “Don't use a semicolon. This sign does not carry any semantic meaning. All he demonstrates is that you graduated from college. " Despite Vonnegut's harsh statement, this punctuation mark is still worth using from time to time.
Step 9. Having learned all the rules and stereotypes, start breaking them
Feel free to deviate from the rules or experiment with them to achieve the desired effect. Many famous writers successfully violated the rules of grammar, stylistics and semantics, but at the same time they brought literature to a qualitatively new level. Do not forget about why you break the rules and what effect it should cause. After all, if you are afraid to take risks, then how can you be called a writer?
- You must have a passionate desire to become a writer. You must determine for yourself what you want to write about, what is your passion, your inspiration, which can make you discover new places for yourself, expand your horizons and realize that everything you want to achieve in life is within your reach, you should only believe in yourself and your strength.
- Writing for fame and fortune is a waste of time.
- Be prepared to make changes to the book. The publisher may suggest some changes to your work. Try to find a compromise, or contact another publisher.
- Write whatever comes to mind - everything will come in handy. Remember, words must fit into the world you are describing.
- Sometimes the path to acceptance is through rejection.
- It may take a long time before you manage to become the writer you dream to be.