So, you want to write a book. We have been tackling the five Ws and the H … that’s What, When, Where, Why. Who, and How. We’ve already delved into the five W’s — What, When, Where, Why, and Who. Now it’s time to start discussing the odd letter — H — How.
How is the nuts and bolts of writing. This will actually be the most intense part and it largely will depend on what genre you choose. But, regardless of your genre, the spokes still have to connect to the hub. The difference is whether you use a carriage bolt or a screw, a nail or an angle brace, a rivet or a weld.
The shortest definition of writing — in any form — is communication. There are various genres to consider. We’ll go over them briefly.
Writing to Communicate — Writing to communicate is the earliest form of writing. It has been a common way of written communication before the emergence of Internet and e-mail. A less formal form of writing, it includes genres such as e-mailing, letter writing, online chatting, article writing and text messaging. It focuses on the individual’s intent and purpose to write rather than discussing a topic. Contrary to the common writing forms, it is generally written in the first person.
Expository Writing — Expository writing is the most common forms of writing. You can find this type of writing in academic setting in the form of research paper, dissertation and thesis writing. The purpose of expository writing is to explain to readers about a specific topic. Biographies, news stories, how to articles, business letters and personal letters are all examples of expository writing.
Narrative Writing — Writing in narrative form is another common but a major genre of writing. Personal narrative is based on factual accounts of the life of a person. This form of writing can be traced back to the prehistoric era. People have been using writing methods to narrate how they lived through time. Cave paintings and hieroglyphics are examples of such writings. Narrative writing focuses on a specific event and experience of an author and reflects his or her thoughts about it. Short stories, biographies and historical writings are all examples of narrative writing.
Persuasive Writing — Writing to persuade is another genre of writing that uses persuasion technique to persuade the audience. It involves discussing a point of view in an attempt to convince the readers. While there are number of sub-genres within the persuasive writing genre, the basic purpose remains the same, i.e. to convince the readers to endorse a viewpoint. Some good examples of persuasive writing include promotional and propaganda advertisement, movie or book review writing, op-eds, and letters to editor.
Creative Writing/Poetry — Writing is always a form of expression. It could be for creating certain emotions, showing feelings of happiness and sadness, or just for fun. Writing in the creative form can imply different meanings and interpretations to different people. Fiction writing that includes poetry, prose, and plays fall in this genre of writing. There are also other genres that are possible within this genre, such as text messaging through emoticons and nonsense writing.
Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. The different categories of communication include:
Spoken or Verbal Communication: face-to-face, telephone, radio or television, and other media.
Non-Verbal Communication: body language, gestures, how we dress or act – even our scent.
Written Communication: letters, e-mails, books, magazines, the Internet, or via other media.
Visualizations: graphs and charts, maps, logos, and other visualizations can communicate messages.
I’m going to focus on written communication, specifically how WE communicate in different mediums.
Most of us use simple writing techniques in letters, e-mails, and social media. If you’re inclined you might journal … or even write a book.
Regardless, writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations. Always, good writing is more than stringing words. It’s painting a mental picture through your words. It’s the writer and reader interacting and being involved in the story. The best writer in the world would fall short if no one read his or her work. The most avid reader in the world would be empty if there were no words to read.
In addition to grammar, spelling and punctuation — I’ll be spending time on those in the coming weeks — it’s important to remember your audience. Always write with your audience in mind which will help you decide whether you need to write in a formal style or a more informal one.
You might be called upon to write a report, plan or strategy at work; write a grant application or press release within a volunteering role; or you may fancy communicating your ideas online via a blog. And, of course, a well written CV or résumé with no spelling or grammatical mistakes is essential if you want a new job. All of those require writing … and writing skills.
Next week, I’ll discuss journaling, poetry, and prose. Until then, keep writing!
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Letting go isn’t a one time thing. It’s something you have to do every day over and over again — Dawson’s Creek