How To Write

A 10 Week (Article) Course in Learning to Put Your Thoughts on Paper Creatively and Accurately

Learning how to write is actually a very simple process.  Through the course of these articles, I am going to share with you excercises and tips on how to get past the road blocks and brain freezes that affect most of us as soon as we sit in front of the computer.  So sit back, have fun and enjoy the ride!

The Basics of Writing:

  1. Write about what you know.
  2. Write about what inspires you.
  3. Put yourself in the moment - even when writing from memory.
  4. Write at the 5th grade level.
  5. Remember that talking is just writing out loud!
  6. Keep it real.  Don't try writing like Danielle Steele, Stephen King, Nora Roberts or Stuart Woods.  Develop your own style.
  7. Research.  Research.  Reseach.  Even for fiction you need to make sure you have correct information or your work won't be credible.

How we see the world is reflected in our writing.  We all look at the world differently.  For example, three different people might view a day as this:

  1. A cool breeze blew across the grounds bringing the sweet scent of the approaching summer storm.
  2. I took a walk outside today.  It was windy and it smelled like rain.
  3. Winnie the Pooh:  "Tut, Tut, Looks like rain!"

See how they all say the same thing but each with their own style?  Practice until you find what works for you.  Now for a fun exercise.  You might ask several others to do this with you so you get an idea how different people perceive things differently.

Write what color you associate with the following words:

  • Fire truck
  • Tree
  • Rose
  • Coffee
  • Cop
  • Love
  • Hate
  • Fear
  • Passion
  • Sunset
  • Beauty
  • Storm
  • Money
  • Sky
  • Life
  • Children
  • Car
  • Dog
  • Shopping
  • Mother

How many people said green for money?  How many said silver or copper?  Blue for the sky or Black/purple for a sky during a storm?  Green for the tree or brown/gold/red for fall?  See how differently things can be perceived and how easy it is to change our writing just by thinking along different lines?  If you're in a larger group, doing a round robin discussion on the various colors often makes for intersting conversation.

I hope you have fun with this and I look forward to seeing you again for class (lesson 2). 

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I like the way you put it. It is very encouraging.

By Mary Norton