Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to write like JK Rowling

I was googling about creative writing a few weeks back and came across some pretty good basic tips that most of us would find it easy to understand, put it into application and perhaps, be on our road to J.K. Rowling's success or the equivalent. That's what I initially thought. Have a read and see how well you apply it.

As for me, it is still a constant struggle. I am still uncertain as to what my style is plus I have a tendency to be chiong hei (Cantonese for long winded). I definitely don't write the way I talk- even my own brother says that he rather hear me tell my stories then read them at my blog.

So, here are some basic tips that I hope will help you.

Creative Writing Tip #1: Be Simple

Write in the simple, natural language of everyday speech. This doesn't mean that you confine yourself to only the most basic words, but that you avoid pompous language, which may cloud your meaning or send readers to sleep.

For example, do not say, He acquired an instrument of destruction wherewith he decapitated the formidable foe, when you mean, With his axe he chopped off the giant's head. Use short, familiar words rather than long, obscure ones - unless the longer word fits your meaning more precisely.

Most good writing is simple. Read the works of authors like Jack London and Ernest Hemingway; read the classics; read the Bible. Simple language is the strongest and most effective.

One way to acquire good style is to study the works of great writers: not to imitate them but to learn how simple language can be elegant, lyrical and powerful.

Creative Writing Tip #2: Be Yourself

Be yourself; be natural and sincere. Don't try to imitate another writer's style; find your own, the style that bears the stamp of your personality.

A guarded, polished style is like a faceless mask; it's not real. Good writing resonates with the true voice of the human author, with all of that author's warmth, wit, idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities.

Write as if you're speaking to a friend. Your reader should be able to hear the rhythms and cadences of your speaking voice. Your family and friends should be able to say, “This sounds like you.”

Creative Writing Tip #3: Be Precise

Choose words that say precisely what you mean.

Avoid trite words like nice, interesting, big. As in: We had a nice dinner; That's a big bird. Be specific. Is it sushi, wonton or mutton curry? Is it a flamingo, an eagle or an ostrich?

Avoid vague words like walk, laugh, pour. Be creative. The boy ambled, shuffled, swaggered; the villain scoffed, jeered, sneered; water gurgled, gushed, spurted out.

Avoid meaningless words like thing, something, somewhere. Be definite. Name the thing or place, use concrete words that evoke clear images: click on this link for more Creative Writing Tips on Concrete Words.

Get a thesaurus to help you. Roget's Thesaurus, for example, is an indispensable reference tool. It comes in many versions; pick the one that best suits your needs.

A dictionary of synonyms helps too. Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms, for example, tells you the subtle difference between almost similar words. Or get the compact version, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms.

Choose words that convey your message clearly to readers. Good writers look for the apt word, the word that carries the precise denotation and the strongest, richest connotations. For more Creative Writing Tips on Denotations and Connotations of Words, go to Good Word Choice.

Creative Writing Tip #4: Be Concise

Concise writing is clear and strong. Write to the point, cut out unnecessary words. This doesn't mean that you throw out all details, descriptions and figures of speech but that you make every word pull its weight.

Cut out meaningless words and phrases like basically, personally, as a matter of fact.
As a matter of fact, today is my birthday has the same meaning as Today is my birthday.
Personally, I feel we shouldn't go near the bull: can anyone ever feel impersonally?

Don't repeat yourself. Phrases like round in shape, the reason is because, revert back, say the same thing twice.

Use strong action verbs. Sentences with active verbs are shorter and stronger than those with passive verbs.

Active Verb: The man bit the dog.
Passive Verb: The dog was bitten by the man.
Click here for more Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs. Replace roundabout phrases like in the event of, by virtue of the fact that, by the name of, with single words that do the same job, like if, because, named.

Phrases like there is, there was, it was dilute your meaning:
There was a baby crying in the basket; it was the baby's cry that woke him up.
Cut out the verbiage: A baby was crying in the basket; the baby's cry woke him up.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

t's such a tickety-boo site. fanciful, very stimulating!!!

-------

[url=http://oponymozgowe.pl]Opony Mozgowe[/url]
[url=http://pozycjonowanie.lagata.pl]Pozycjonowanie[/url]

[url=http://odporny.com/zdrowie,i,uroda/opony,s,847/]opony[/url]

Anonymous said...

This is very fine web site, thank you and look at that [url=http;//ciufcia.pl]gry dla dzieci[/url]

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.c-online-casino.co.uk/]casino online[/url] hinder the latest [url=http://www.casinolasvegass.com/]casino las vegas[/url] manumitted no store bonus at the chief [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]online casinos
[/url].

Anonymous said...

Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess
I will just book mark this page.
My site :: football transfer news bbc

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of
your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.
Maybe you could space it out better?
Also visit my web-site ; live transfer news sky sports

Anonymous said...

Hi to every body, it's my first pay a quick visit of this weblog; this blog consists of amazing and actually fine material in support of readers.
Feel free to surf my website ; perfumes

Anonymous said...

I was recommended this web site via my cousin. I'm no longer certain whether or not this submit is written via him as nobody else realize such specific approximately my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!
Feel free to visit my web blog - diet plan

Anonymous said...

Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. That is an extremely smartly written article.
I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.
Feel free to surf my blog ; pizza games little girls

Anonymous said...

Intimately, the posting is in real life the greatest on this worthw hile topic.

I fit in with your conclusions and will excitedly get excited to your upcoming updates.


my blog post - acne solution system

Anonymous said...

As the admin of this site is working, no question very quickly it will be famous, due to
its feature contents.

My web blog :: http://teensnpa.com/groups/bags-under-eyes-treatment/

Anonymous said...

Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort
to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don't seem to get anything done.

Also visit my blog post http://Www.sbwire.com/press-releases/skinception-dermefface-fx7-review-natural-collagen-production-and-skin-regeneration-to-aid-scar-reduction-196058.htm (hostyourprofile.com)

Anonymous said...

we simply like to let you know, we truly like the authorship
on your own site. But I'm watching it with my personal Google Chrome Browser and the display does not appear to be quite appropriate. It's undeniably not a big issue as I can still view and look over the articles but just thought I would let you understand about that.
brilliant work. Cheers.

My website - best Acne Treatments

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has
some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a
quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!

Also visit my blog producing dance music