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.