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Saturday, 13 January 2018

The craft of writing

I'm a pretty good writer, to toot my own horn. It's the one thing in the world I'm best at (besides babbling about Game of Thrones). Writing has always come naturally to me. I can write songs, stories, prose, poetry. When those at my uni give feedback on my music they tend to comment on my lyricism being good or liking my lyrics.

I know how to use certain tones or language to make something come across as sad or humorous or appalling. But it takes work. I've been writing all my life. English was one of my best subjects in school, and you do need to take care with grammar, tenses, tone, style, sentence length, and all that jazz.

Let's say. I am. Gonna write. Like this. Short sentences are often used for tension or drama and are often used in journalism because journalists need to be snappy enough to gage the attention of the reader therefore they use short sentences to grab the attention of the reader and make them want to read their article.

When writing, one must be careful about how they phrase things. How they structure their sentences. As you can see from above, using super short sentences and extra long sentences seemed confusing and out of context. My dad is also a writer, and talks A LOT about form. He often says the form is more important than the content. Needless to say, both are important. But many care more about the content than the form. Content is important, sure; you need something to write about in the first place.

But how you say it is key. Shock humour, satire and sarcasm are methods I use a lot in my writing - one because I'm like that in day-to-day life anyway, but also because it keeps things interesting for the reader. Some of my posts are very long, and I need to work to keep the reader engaged throughout.

Of course, when writing about a more serious topic - of which I have plenty - humour is not the best thing to use. Topics that are very serious, such as mental illness, need to be addressed in a way that is informative yet empathetic. (That is, unless you want to come across as a cunt - cough Logan Paul).
My brother commented on one of my posts that he read recently, saying I was writing 'with' my readers rather than 'at' them. I want you lovely people to feel interested and included in what I'm writing. After all, I could just write these posts on my laptop and store them in my documents and make sure no one ever saw them. But blogging - or anything in the online world - is about sharing.

The internet is now saturated with information. There are articles everywhere about everything. This is why all writers must have an angle. Everything you want to say or are going to say has already been said or will be said by someone else saying the same thing. Stephen King wasn't the first person to write horror, nor was JK Rowling the first to write fantasy. But they had an angle. They honed their craft. How do you do that? Practice, my dear.

The best way to sharpen your writing really is to read and write a lot. If you read a lot of books and write a lot in your spare time - whatever the genre or 'type' of writing - you are going to get better.

Check out my music blog here where I review people's work:

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: