Thursday, September 9, 2010

Writing for One, for All - by Kai Elan

Hello fellow writers,

The below post is by Kai Elan, a freelance writer and blogger currently sharing her experiences from halfway around the world on her blog. Check out her work at and enjoy her post below.

Happy writing,


Writing for One, for All
by Kai Elan

In the course of writing, there tends to be pressure to be a great writer. Even good would suffice. Being a good writer can involve several techniques: the techniques of the creative input, the organization of the writing, the voice of the writer, the choice of words, fluency in the sentences, and the grammar consistency ( These techniques for evaluation are important, however, pertaining to writing; good writing is not all of these factors. From the writing observed, and in my own writing, there are just a few which compose good writing.

These elements involve:

The topic matter. Is the topic matter interesting, relatable, and relevant? Obviously, people read something because it is interesting. A part of it caught the person’s eye, which influenced the individual to read further. This could be on a conscious level or a sub-conscious level. The piece was relatable in regards to what the person wanted to know about. It is relatable in the sense that the article is about enjoying tennis, and the reader plays tennis or would like to learn about tennis. The writing is also relevant through displaying current information; the reader is able to incorporate it in their life in some way. Old news stories, for example, don’t attract many readers because the stories are no longer relevant.

It is also the grammatical structure. Yes, grammar rules are crucial in writing. However, understanding the difference between a noun modification versus a noun phrase, is not; this is an instance of grammar rules getting even the best writers down. Grammar is constantly changing and evolving. Writers should not feel as inclined to always follow grammar rules as the rules will often change. Grammar rules are important, for the reason, if a sentence is formatted incorrectly or words are spelled wrong, readers are puzzled or frustrated by the message being delivered. Readers know the speech taught and grasp the basic fundamentals of grammar, so it is best to know and understand more than the basics to come across as a competent, good writer.

The voice of the writer is important. It was a tie between voice and word choice. The reason why voice is important to a piece of writing is because good writing utilizes the actual voice of the writer. Writing should sound as if the writer is speaking to its readers. It happens to be through visual words instead. The voice invites readers in or it shuts them out. It showcases the personality of the writer as well as the mood. The questions asked while writing: is the piece inviting, casual, informative, professional, and angry, etc…? Voice creates an angle of objectivity and subjectivity. Based on the voice, it can swing around the entire tone of the piece.

There was hesitation to mention word choice because word choice is a cautious path to take in writing. The issues with word choice are the manner in how words are used, the comprehension, and the suitability of the word. The vocabulary used can confuse the reader, turn the reader off, or appeal to the reader. Not to mention, confusing the writer as well. Yes, the thesaurus feature is great, and it adds some entertaining elements to a bland topic. However, if the writer is not familiar with the particular word, it is best to not use it. The thesaurus does not tend to explain the context of said word; it only relays the definition. The word selected may not make sense to the reader. Word choice can also turn the reader off by simply making them feel incompetent or stupid. Worse even, the reader viewing the writer as stupid because the piece wasn’t written for the proper audience. The goal with word choice is to appeal to readers and even inspire readers to further their writing abilities. Using appropriate words that deliver the effective voice and tying the ideas together.

Good writing and a good writer have different meanings. It is trivial to get caught up with being a good writer. This takes time and practice. This can be about churning out consistent work and utilizing all the methods of good writing techniques. Good writing means, the certain writer was able to relate to their audience and take the piece to another level. Meanwhile, it doesn’t mean the next piece will be as good.

The point is to write because it is enjoyable, not because of a specific writing formula. Writing is a hobby, a pleasant talent to take part in; it should not be viewed as a chore.

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