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Anatomy of writing

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A writer’s weapon of choice is the words they use. This turns into statements that are embedded with opinions and thoughts. It is up to the writer to decide whether the write-up should be entertaining, thought-provoking, or informative. It could be humorous, witty, satirical; serious, mature, logical; or revealing, instructive, enlightening. The art of writing is not in how much you write but what you write. A 1500-word article might not create as much of an impact as a 400-word letter to the editor. At times a 140-character Tweet may send the reader into deep introspection.
A writer needs to become one with the topic they are writing about. They need not be experts in that subject, but they should know what they have to write. The information including facts, figures, details that a writer share needs to be updated, correct, and must be taken from credible sources. Reading, in this regard, is the best activity writers must indulge themselves in. Reading not only makes a writer better in drafting documents – such as articles, essays, letters, applications – but it also improves their information.
Writing is not just about sharing information or an opinion. It is the science and the craft of methodologically stating pertinent facts, blended with an opinion, relevant to the topic. This is where the three parts of a write-up come into play. The beginning, middle, and end are the three parts of any written document, be it an article or a book. In the case of an article, a writer introduces the topic to the readers. This creates the foundation on which the rest of the write-up will stand.
During the middle part, the writer shares all information related to the topic. This becomes the nucleus or the essence of the write-up. Here, the writer defines terms, explains the message, gives examples, and provides a holistic view of ideas, insights, concepts, and philosophies related to the topic. Readers will lose interest if they find any sentence or concept that is mentioned out of context. The secret to keeping the readers’ attention glued to the write-up is to mention one after the other such facts, ideas, opinions, and thoughts, that have a direct connection with the topic or that complement the message.
When sharing information, words become the soul of the written document. These words create a profound impact on the readers’ thought process. Eventually, a series of words turn into a sentence and the message becomes evident. However, a writer must not repeat the same words. The ability of a writer to use synonyms in the document does wonder. Aspiring writers are advised to read a thesaurus once a day and learn three to four new words they can use in their write-ups. This is why reading is given so much value if one wants to become a writer. Reading helps in the development of your vocabulary that adds value to your drafts.
When writing, one must know the style they will use. They can be descriptive, narrative, expository, or persuasive. The descriptive style describes a situation or a person (biographies), narrative style chronicles a past event or a story (historical accounts, fictional novels), expository style is more about sharing information in a detailed manner (essays, how-to articles) and persuasive style is about convincing the reader to accept a thought (speeches, messages).
When writing articles or fictional stories, one must follow the concept of ‘show, don’t tell’. This refers to ones’ ability to show to the reader the action happening through words rather than just telling what happened. Aspiring fiction writers should use this concept when writing about scenes that have action or when writing dialogue. As the Russian playwright and short-story writer, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Aspiring writers need to share relevant information in the best way possible. There should be a theme that becomes the basis of what they are writing. For instance, an article on current affairs discussing US-Pakistan ties must look at the historical perspective of their bilateral ties followed by the current situation by mentioning each country’s policies. Every writer will think of a different angle even if they are writing on the same topic. The anatomy of writing, therefore, is not taught – it must be felt by the writer. With practice, this feeling will become stronger. It will guide the writer to develop the best content.