Sunday, 8 January 2012

So you want to write?

Many people, at some time in their lives, will need to or want to write something from which somebody else can gain pleasure.  Whether we are at school or out in the world, sitting in front of a blank page can be daunting, but the sheer joy of having written something that another person enjoys, can be within the grasp of most of us.
I have never looked at a blank page, trying to think of something to write, because I follow a few simple rules that allow me to have fun with writing, even if I end up exhausted.  Learning to write, like learning to play a sport, firstly requires us to learn the rules.  You might think that you don’t need these rules as you already speak the language fluently.  Rules of a language are not static.  Language is a living thing that alters its form to fit in with society.  For those of us whose memories of school are very distant, we might find that some of the rules we learnt have now changed.  For instance, how many of us over 35 years old know what a determiner is?  (hint: they used to be called definite and indefinite articles).  Did you know that there are only 2 verbal tense forms in the English language?  We don’t have to know all the rules; just as many of the main ones as we can learn.  Once we get used to them, writing becomes much easier.
Over the following few months I would like to help people to enter this fascinating world where words can be a bandage or a sword; a declaration of war or a peace treaty.  It has been said that everybody has a book inside that is waiting  to escape.  I am not setting myself up as an expert, I simply want to pass on some of my experience to anyone who thinks he/she might need it.
So, what do you want to know?  Where to find ideas, first person v third person, How to write a plan etc.  Most authors would help new writers if they had the time.  Here I would like to invite questions from anybody from essays to a full length novel (I am not well versed in poetry so please direct poetic questions elsewhere (deliberate pun!)).
If you would like me to answer a writing problem, Just ask on this site and I will do my best to cover it.  What have you got to lose?  Just think what you have to gain.

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