ART OF WRITING (A,B,C,R,L PRINCIPAL)
1. INTRODUCTION (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE)
Art of writing is a creative process encompassing knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, continued practice and learning from others. People have an apprehension that effective writing simply a means script that contains no awful mistakes (no errors of grammar, punctuation or spelling). Nevertheless, good writing to a great extent is more than just correct writing. Importantly, good writing responds to the interests and needs of its intended audience. Subsequently, reflects the writer's inner voice, personality and distinctiveness. Good writing is a manifestation of practice and hard work, importantly this is a talented skill imbibed over the period of time. One may be optimistic to know that the capability to write well is not necessarily a gift that some people are instinctive with or privilege extended to few. One can develop writing skills by putting sincere efforts to learn the art of writing.
2. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS WRITING
Writing should follow the basic rules of English prose, paying attention to the following elements.
a) ACCURACY: Accuracy is writing accurate facts and figures about the subject matter without exaggerating, overemphasizing and implied sentences are not to be used.
b) BREVITY: Brevity means the ability to inform the reader in the shortest possible time without sacrificing clarity, completeness or style. This does not mean abruptness.
c) CLARITY: The sentence should be easy to understand at the first reading. Therefore, each word or phrase must be clear and unambiguous.
d) RELEVANCE: Relevance includes both the exclusion of any irrelevant word, phrase or Idea and the inclusion of all pertinent essentials.
e) LOGIC: The sentence and paragraphs should be linked together and follow each other logically. They must not be contradictory.
In order to convey to the reader the value of an idea or to justify a course of action, argument in writing must be based on facts presented in a logical order. Importantly, the aim of writing is to tell the tale plainly and good style demands a simple and straightforward arrangement. Further, short words, short sentences and short paragraphs are to be used wherever possible. On the other hand, to avoid being dull and lifeless, the style should be sufficiently attractive to hold the reader’s attention.
STYLE DEPENDS ON
a) WORDS: Exact knowledge of the meaning of every word used, avoid ambiguity, vagueness or misunderstanding. Short words are preferable to the long ones but, what matters is the use of the right word in the right context.
b) SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH: Forceful argument can be developed only by logical sequence of sentence and paragraph. The paragraphs may be subdivided for the purpose of clarity but unity of ideas expressed in each paragraph must be preserved. Short crisp sentences are to be used but they should not be so brief that the whole subject loses continuity.
c) PUNCTUATION: Punctuation is to be used to simplify and shorten the sentences.
d) SLANG: Slang means a very informal language that includes new and sometimes root words. Slang words are used only by a particular group of people. For example screw is a slang used in prison, it means making life tough, but it cannot be used everywhere.
e) JARGON AND OFFICIALISE: Jargon means technical words and expressions that are used mainly by people who belong to the same professional group and are difficult to understand. For example documents full of legal jargon are easily recognised but difficult to define. Those who are not familiar with the particular expression may misunderstand this. Officialise means a way of talking or writing used by government officials which is difficult to understand. Jargon and officialise is neither concise nor clear and should be avoided.
Good writing has a clearly defined purpose and makes a definite point, roots out opposing viewpoints, undoubtedly has logic and structure. Moreover, ropes that point with specific information which is evidently connected and arranged. The words are appropriate and the sentences are concise, emphatic, and correct and anticipate reader desire. Above all, avoid abstract nouns where verbs or adjectives can be used, use the active form rather than passive form of phrases while drafting.
Be careful about the introductory prepositional phrases, as for as possible use English words rather than words from other languages. Unquestionably, good writing has to serve the reader, not the writer himself. Admittedly, a good writer strives to explain and make things clearer, subsequently to make sense of our world.
Note: This article is dedicated to my beloved English Teacher Mrs Uma Sivaraman Mam of Grade XI & XII, KV 2 Tambaram (1991-92), for her inspiration and igniting my passion to speak and write.