Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Using Your Ingredients

The following is a digest of an article 'How to use your ingredients' in the Autumn 2010 edition of Christian Writer.

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When making a meal the quality of the ingredients is important, but how they are put together is the key to good cooking. As with cooking, so with writing.

Having brilliant subject matter, or great story is only part of the package. How we present it is also important.

It has been said that no subject is so interesting that bad writing cannot make it dull, and no subject so dull, that good writing cannot make it compelling. Writers should never make the mistake of saying 'my ingredients are great, so my writing is great'.

The mark of good writing is that it will make an impact on the reader. It can be on the emotions, the mind or the will. It's better if it hits two and best of all when it hits all three. If that happens then the reader will be unable to keep quiet about the book and the phenomenon of 'word of mouth' takes place.

These skills are rarely acquired without hard work. Just as a chef will learn how to mix ingredients over time, so will a writer as they practice their craft: vocabulary, grammar and construction.

By regular experimentation we will find out how to create feeling, clarity or decisiveness with our words and our readers will notice the difference.

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3 comments:

Tana Adams said...

I notice I write better when I focus completely on the task.

DRC said...

Practice...lots of practice...and useful critisim...

Tess said...

I love this analogy! It is true...I have sometimes read books about nothing, really and loved them and other times read "important" books and been bored to death.

happy friday!