Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thinking...

From time to time, I take a break from my normal routine to think about what I am doing and if I should make any improvements. One of the things I want to do is to improve my style of writing. My education in grammar and writing was a long time ago and although I am sure I didn't forget too much, I would like to refresh my memory. One way I found I can do this is to sign up for a subscription to the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style. You can try the online version for free for thirty days if you don't want to commit to a year's subscription.

Everyone tells writers to produce better content which for me, means to slow down and take the time to polish my work. I admit that I struggle with this as I tend to want to get my work out of my hands as quickly as I can after I have written it. However, if I wait, there are always corrections and ways of improving what I say, so I know it is worthwhile.

What actually does it mean when one says to produce good writing? Here is a nice explanation from Teaching That Makes Sense:

Ideas that are interesting and important. Ideas are the heart of the piece — what the writer is writing about and the information he or she chooses to write about it.

Organization that is logical and effective. Organization refers to the order of ideas and the way the writer moves from one idea to the next.

Voice that is individual and appropriate. Voice is how the writing feels to someone when they read it. Is it formal or casual? Is it friendly and inviting or reserved and standoffish? Voice is the expression of the writer's personality through words.

Word Choice that is specific and memorable. Good writing uses just the right words to say just the right things.

Sentence Fluency that is smooth and expressive. Fluent sentences are easy to understand and fun to read with expression.

Conventions that are correct and communicative. Conventions are the ways we all agree to use punctuation, spelling, grammar, and other things that make writing consistent and easy to read. 

I will post these somewhere on my laptop and try to read them before publishing any of my stories..