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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
It feels strange to pen an article with such a title as this one. Writing, to me, has always been something dependent on the self – the tone of originality stemming from the idiosyncrasies of each writer. I like to have my own style and to see other writers have theirs. I’ve always had an inclination against any self-acclaimed authority that professes that it has any hidden knowledge of brilliant writing, the suggestion that there exists a totally superior tone or style. Writing is an art and flourishes on difference. It seems rather perverse of me, then, to produce a few tips (though I’d like to stress that this list is, of course, not exhaustive) on how to write, or, rather, how to improve your writing. I have not studied creative writing, nor am I a published author or have received any sort of formal recognition or award for my writing. But I am a frequent writer, and have, in my experience both in school and out, seen people struggling with expression of artistic and intelligent ideas. Everyone has to write, and everyone has ideas. My attempt is to allow these two inevitabilities to not become a marriage doomed to divorce but of frequent and enjoyable procreation (metaphors will be covered).
The first and most vital tip I believe anyone can give is simply this – you must read widely and intently. Humans have an adept ability to absorb information and skills: we like to be shown what to do before we are able to do it. Reading books by a variety of authors will open your mind to the way in which specific language and syntax is used, and you will be able to do it with greater ease. You don’t want to become a complete imitation of your favourite author, though. When I was about fifteen I had become obsessed with Hermann Hesse and Oscar Wilde, two writers who rely heavily on poeticism, usually through the form of anthropomorphism and personification. As such I let their tomes channel through my veins and I churned out a horribly lyrical piece (which at the time I thought was genius) that turned out to be a complete poor imitation of their style. This was important, though. It was only when I came out of my own bewitchment and looked at the piece in a more critical way that I was able to understand the value of producing it. I then understood that it wasn’t my own style I was cultivating but that of someone else’s. But it proved very valuable to me, and was what I needed for me to progress as a writer.
I also realised, in amongst all the wordplay and personification of that piece, that there existed a blunt drabness, a lack of a warm undertone, an absence of humour. This leads us on to the second tip. It isn’t that there should always exist an element of humour, but to ensure that not all of your writing comes across as too serious.
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