Celebrating East African Writing!
Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. ~Moliere
We have all written something in our lives, ranging from letters, term papers, emails to status updates on Facebook and tweets. While for many people the writing stops there, others want to take it further. The desire for writing is just too much to fit in the above situations.
So is your writing desire strong? If yes what are you doing about it?
You’ll come across a lot of tips and ideas on how and what to write. Before taking all of them as the word, it is important to read and understand what each means and what it will do for your writing.
It is difficult to come up with the ‘writing guide’ that will guarantee success to everyone because we are all different, and what works for me will not work for you. Therefore to make things easier and sensible for you when writing there are some things you need to know:
• Learn the rules
There are different rules for writing. Learn them. The beauty of rules is that they can be broken, but how can you break something you have no idea about? Master what is considered the norm, and then deviate from them. Only then will you be a good writer.
• Know how to write
Many people think that writing is the simple process of putting pen on paper and letting it move. Well, it’s a bit complicated that than.
You need ideas to write about. When you find the idea, you need technique. Technique involves the form of writing you will take- is it fiction or poetry? It also involves the style you will use and the stylistic devices that will have the most impact on your readers.
Finding your style is not a joke. You will need time and a lot of practice. Try out different styles of writing before you settle on what you are most comfortable with.
While it is a good idea to open your mind to new ideas, it is essential for you to find out what you are comfortable with before deviating. It will save you a lot of time, and help you avoid writer’s block.
• The First draft
One of the biggest problems with young writers (by young I mean those writers that are starting out regardless of their age), is thinking that they are done when they finish the first draft.
The first draft is just that, the first draft. First, meaning that you have as much freedom to write what you think and what you want. You do not have to concentrate so much on the technique and methodology. Write what you feel is right because you will have time to revise and edit it as you wish.
With the first draft done, the real work starts. You need to go back and revise. Cross all t’s and i’s, check on spelling mistakes, sentence construction and grammar issues.
Then look at the technique. Work on the style and logical factors that may render your story incorrect or irrelevant.
Revising may range from making minor changes or rewriting the whole draft.
Remember, the only way you can be successful in your writing is by knowing how to write.
Reminder: Did you see the second Storymoja Africa Short Story call out? Date from Hell! 5 Season Tickets to the Storymoja Hay Festival, 1000bob airtime and Single & Searching by Chris Hart up for grabs. Deadline March 31st.