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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.
This element of writing is left to those whose job it is to regurgitate information for consumption, those that aren’t allowed to even add a slight adjective or adverb for fear of appearing to side with a particular side of a story (this rule is only stuck to by broadsheets, however, don’t look at The Sun for a case and point). This is addressed at those who seek to write opinion pieces (book, movie and album reviews, or on a particular societal occurrence etc.). This is primarily because when people read an opinion article they are well aware that this opinion is a facet of someone’s personality, and that person is you. So if you are to write with an impregnable humourlessness their overall impression of you is as such. But perhaps you don’t care what other people’s perception about you is. Well, then you must remember that opinion articles are, after first being thought provoking, there for entertainment purposes. Humour or light-heartedness adds a relaxed feel to your piece that is absent from those that are purely steeped in sober thoughts. Your piece doesn’t have to rely on this rule, a few lines here and there is all that is needed.
A good way to achieve something humourous is the use of allusions. References to other aspects of the world, especially through the medium of a metaphor, are something used by many of the key writers. For an example, look at the Guardian newspaper website and look at any of Marina Hyde’s articles. It is clear that she understands the dynamic between an articulate argument and the way in which allusions help to aid both her point and the entertaining element of the piece. For an example from myself - though I cringe when using myself as a figure of example - is from one of my recent articles on Donald Trump. In this article I added the following: ‘(All the while, however, behind closed doors, one imagines that Trump, imploding with his ineptitude, opened his ears to the unsexed Mike Pence and his born-again spirits.)’. This is a direct allusion to Shakespeare’s Macbeth wherein Lady Macbeth, the catalyst for Macbeth’s lust for power, has a soliloquy wherein she wishes to be ‘unsex’d’. This metaphor not only forms Trump into something of a caricature by the fusion of art and reality, but it also illustrates the notion I was wishing to convey that Trump is pliable to those behind the scenes because of his own inability.
The final tip I feel that is of any real worth is, like the first, very simple. Ensure that you enjoy writing. It can sometimes feel laborious keeping your hands at a keyboard, to persistently filter your endless pool of imagination into a coherent formula of language, to sometimes feel as if the words just won’t come out. But there is little better feeling when you can look down on your body of work and smile with a sense of finality. Stick at it, play with it, improve upon it, and always enjoy it.
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