Tips For A Budding Writer

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By Shreeprakash Sharma

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Aspiring to become a writer and to earnestly see one’s name in print is very much natural human trait. There is nothing strange about it. But to be a professional writer, that too a successful and best selling, is not an easy task. It is a hard nut to crack. The task is very much difficult. It calls for hard labour, life-long-learning inclination, confidence and patience. Walter Mosley, the famous American novelist, once had said, “If you want to be a writer, you have to write everyday … you don’t go to a well once but daily.” So, it is crystal clear that the mastery over the art of writing is the outcome of consistent efforts and regularly improving upon the mistakes.

You must have seen a toddler learning to walk with the support from his parents. Once the child learns well how to walk, he starts running without any fear and help from anyone. The same is the condition with that of a budding writer.

A newbie writer needs the support of in-depth knowledge of basics of English grammar to start his life long journey to become a successful writer. Once he becomes a published and famous writer he needs no guidelines for writing the piece which is admired by the readers. So the most important question arises here is – what are the basics the knowledge of which is very essential for an aspiring writer?

The famous American writer Mark Twain had once said, “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English – it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.”  The quote has a deeper meaning which says a lot about the art of how to write professionally flawless.

There goes a general perception that writing is confined to simply picking up a pen and piece of paper or sitting before a typewriter or a computer and start writing or typing on the subjects’ one may feel pretty curious about. But alas! The things are not so. In fact, writing is a nerve-racking ordeal. In fact, the process of writing starts right from thinking earnestly about a subject to finishing a final draft. But before the final draft is accomplished, a good writing has to pass through a host of stages like those of editing, additions, deletions, rearrangement of sentence structures, rewording and remodelling the contents.

So writing is a multistage process which calls for paying attention to one activity at a time. What it basically connotes is the universal fact that a writer cannot work like a juggler who is amazingly skilled at juggling with various facets of writing so quickly.

Here are given the various stages of a writing process which a writer, whether experienced or novice, must follow religiously to produce a flawless, professional and interesting piece.

Planning

This is the stepping stone of the art and profession of writing. Under this process we gather ideas to write about.

Shaping

This stage is associated with considering the ways for the organization of materials to write on the ideas planned.

Drafting

Under this stage we write about ideas in sentences and paragraphs.

Revising

It is the stage at which we evaluate writing along the lines of ideas gathered and visualized. It includes the following steps-

  1. Rewriting
  2. Adding some more ideas.
  3. Deleting or dropping irrelevant ideas.
  4. Replacing words or sentence structures with more exact and meaningful words and sentence structures.
  5. Recasting and renovating materials.

Editing

This is the most important step in the process of writing. It includes the following two procedures-

  1. To check the correctness of grammar.
  2. To check the correctness of spellings and other important aspects of a language.

Proofreading

It is the process of reading your final copy to seriously find out typing errors or other blunders which might have been crept in.

To sum up, writing process involves the following four steps-

  1. Planning and shaping
  2. Drafting
  3. Revising
  4. Editing and proofreading

WORDS MATTER MOST

Choose the closest meaning of the words given in the capital letters –

  1. IGNOMINY

(A)  personal disgrace (B) crowd (C) scream

  1. ABOMINATE

(A). to loathe (B) huge (C) difficult, hard to deal with

  1. GARRULOUS

(A) duplicate (B) pleasant (C) talkative

  1. GIMMICK

(A) a trick (B) a beautiful woman (C) intelligence

  1. ERRATUM

(A) regret (B) chance (C) a mistake

  1. DYSPEPSIA

(A) blunder (B) indigestion (C) rustic

Answers: 1.A 2. A 3. C 4. A 5. C 6.B

Choose the word most nearly opposite to the words given in the capital letters

  1. WANE

(A)  to grow fast (B) to respond (C) to attack

  1. SOPHISTICATED

(A). unaccustomed (B) uncouth (C) expert

  1. BLOOM

(A) to cut (B) to wither (C) to shrink

  1. ZENITH

(A) cruel (B) nadir (C) torture

  1. SUPERCILIOUS

(A) harsh (B) obsequious (C) futile

  1. CLARIFY

(A)  affirm (B) to obfuscate (C) to muddle

Answers 1.A 2. B .3.B 4. B 5. B  6.B

PHRASAL VERBS

To   pull one’s sock up – to brave challenges or problems very courageously (The students have decided to pull their socks up in the wake of the fast approaching final examination.)

To dawn on- to realize (It dawned on me very late that life is a saga of pains and pleasures alike.)

To get something across – to make something clear (She needs to practise consistently to communicate better for getting her ideas across the audiences effectively.)

To run away with something – to win something very easily (The cricket team ran away with the champion’s trophy yesterday.)

To run away or off with something – to escape (The burglars ran away or off with all the valuables from the neighbour’s home.)

IDIOMS

A hard nut to crack – a very difficult problem (If you are very consistent in your efforts then getting through civil services examinations is not a hard nut to crack.)

To rise to the occasion – to be able to do what is required in a situation (He has always been a timid student but when he was elected to the president of the students’ union he so splendidly rose to the occasion.)

Pretty as a picture – very pretty (She purchased a house last week which is as pretty as a picture.)

To take a dim view of someone or something – to disapprove of someone or something (Stop taking a dim view of the people by their appearances.)

To whine about someone or something – to complain or whimper about someone or something (The common masses are whining about the current education system without seriously thinking over it.)

WORDS USUALLY USED IN MEDIA

The writing is on the wall (for) – used to indicate that something or someone will fail ( The writing is very much clear on the wall for the private sector industries which use coal as the raw material for producing their goods.)

Vicarious – the experience you get by watching someone doing it rather than doing it yourself (The parents usually get vicarious excitements and happiness form the meteoric successes of their own children.)

The tip of the iceberg – a very small sign of the problem which is so enormous (The arrest of the hundreds of children traffickers in the city yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg.)

WORD OF THE DAY

Déjà vu- the feeling that it has happened earlier in the same way


The author is principal Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mamit (Mizoram)  and can be reached at  [email protected]

 

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