23. What is Good Writing? …

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Good writing is essential for everyone. Whether news columns, blogs, or fictional stories, authors should always abide by three basic rules to convey vibrant messages.

Rule One: Understand Grammar Concepts.

Regardless of writing style, authors must use correct grammar. Sentences — even entire paragraphs — can easily be misinterpreted when the writer does not execute proper grammar. Commas, semicolons, and periods are critical for separating thoughts and even for emphasizing key points.

Rule Two: Less is More

Many write to impress rather than to accurately inform. Instead of writing a clear, straight forward message, they try to impress readers with long sentences and “fancy” vocabulary. These writers don’t realize that the best way to convey anything is to explain it simply, using few words if possible.

Rule Three: Appeal to the Senses

This rule mostly applies to creative writing. When someone is reading a creative story, he wants to feel involved. It’s the writer’s job to interpret the scene as if he is actually seeing, smelling, and hearing everything.

According to the historical fiction writer, E. L. Doctorow, “good writing should provoke sensation in the reader — not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

A beautiful example of appealing to the senses is found in The Great Gatsby, one of America’s most famous novels.

“Gatsby asked me to wait until he was free and I lingered in the garden until the inevitable swimming party had run up, chilled and exalted, from the black beach, until the lights were extinguished in the guest rooms overhead.”

In this passage, Fitzgerald identifies what his protagonist is seeing (gardens/guest rooms) and feeling (chilled). Such writing brings the reader deeper into the story, convincing him of another reality.

To summarize, good writing consists of three main rules: proper grammar, simplicity, and appeal to the senses. Without a firm grip on these basic concepts, writers will struggle to tell their story effectively.

What do you guys think? How important are these rules? How can writers effectively execute them?

I encourage comments below.

8 thoughts on “23. What is Good Writing? …

  1. “good writing should provoke sensation in the reader — not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
    That is the real key. Combined with a great story = recipe for success

    So many stories are written well, but there’s no emotional hook, no involvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment

      Forgive me if I generalize, but I think many academic writers ignore the “sensational” part of writing. Information by itself is boring when it isn’t accompanied by emotional attachment.


  2. My English class last semester involved incorporating emotion in academic papers. I found it a lot more challenging to do because there wasn’t a character to identify with.


  3. Good job, one observation though – the first two concepts are rather simple, but there is no attribution to back up your thoughte. Like you mentioned in the last concept, you had other quotes from writers and that really strengthened the concept overall.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting observation, Amber. Way to kill the *vibe… JK 🙂

    The first rule was pretty obvious. It doesn’t take a literary genius to understand that good grammar is essential in all writing, so I think I should have chosen a different rule. I wish I would have included a little more bulk to rule two… The reason I included more in the third is because it’s so overlooked.

    I enjoy reading your stuff from the Champion, Amber. You’re a master of rule three 😉


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