Writing arts

Introduction

Welcome to Writing Arts Page! This page is made for those who have difficulties in writing. If you feel uncomfortable or awkward when you are asked to write something, you might find some tips on this page. Writing is a very important skill anywhere, anytime as long as we live. Through writing, we communicate to teachers to receive grades in school. By writing, evaluations on works are made. In short, it's not too much to say that writing skills influence our life. The purpose of this page is to help you to understand how important writing skills are, and find the first step that you can do today for development of your writing skills.

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What are the elements of writing well?

There might be a lot of things that describe good writings, but according to Murakami(2006), the following three points could well explain them:

  1. What kind of experiences does the writer have,
  2. Did the writer live in an intellectual environment,
  3. How much knowledge does the writer have..

The quality of writings depends on the extent of writer's vocabulary, knowledge, experiences, and thinking trials.

So, what should we do ?Edit

We cannot add something to our past experiences, namely, we cannot change our past. Therefore, what we can do for improvement is to input new information. Perhaps, the most accessible way for building a bigger vocabulary, knowledge base, and thought perspective is to read. Murakami(2006) says, "Read before writing. This is the iron rule on writing"(p.25).

Murakami(2006) also says, "Writing skill is the ability to think. What should we do to acquire the ability? Reading. The amount of reading becomes nutrition for thinking, and facilitates writing skill" (p.73).


What should writers be wary of before writing

It is very important to answer the following questions before writing:
1. What is the purpose of your writing?

The purpose of your writing is very very important. Some common goals of writing are to persuade, to inform, or to entertain. If there is no goal of your writing, you may feel bored or empty. You may desire to inform someone about a topic (example: poison oak), but end up only entertaining them (example: story about a hiking trip).
However, if you set the goal of your writing, you will be excited and motivated to express your thinking. Your reader(s) will know your intent and be better able to follow the entire body of the writing.

2. What do you write?
Clarifying writing objects are also important. Sometimes we tend to deviate from the original purpose of the writing. So, paying attention to what you are writing at all times, and judging how important it is to the main goal will help you to write successfully.

3. Who are the readers?
The contents of a writing seem different to different types of readers. Some readers may have different viewpoints or even a foreign mother tongue. Some are professional writers, and some are not. If you acknowledge the type of readers that you are trying to reach, you can write more clearly so the reader can better understand the writing.

4. What do the readers ask for?
Readers read, asking for something. Some ask for pleasure, others specific information. If we write something for the readers, it can be said that we have the responsibility to answer the readers' demand.

5. Is your writing easy to understand?
Today, information is a flood. It's everywhere. Finding information that we want to get has become more difficult since internet technology has emerged. If the writing is difficult to understand, the readers lose interest and move on more confused than before.

Fruits of writing

1)Reading ability will improve as writing ability improves.
As you now know, reading is the short-cut to becoming a good writer. Likewise, through conscious deliberate writing, your reading will improve. As you write, you think of better ways to re-word your important ideas. So that, in reading you will recognize the way a writer emphasizes ideas through wording and you'll better understand the material. Through reading many books, you will get rich knowledge and vocabulary, and then, write more descriptive, informative and more concisely. If you read books with the intention to write, your writing accuracy will dramatically increase. Likewise, if you write with the reader's concerns at heart, how can you avoid becoming a better reader?

2)Your goals will be more specific
The process of writing is to clarify where words should be put into sentences. Writing requires us to understand, and stick to the purpose of our writing. If you write well, you will be able to set more accurate goals. So, even though it helps your vocabulary to fight through a tough book every now and then, where you have to look up difficult words, it is not good to write with a dictionary or thesaurus to try and insert larger words. In doing so, you sacrifice the flow of words and ideas. The thesaurus comes later, in the revision process, or not at all.

3) You will appreciate varied viewpoints
If you put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers you will understand them on their terms. You have to think when writing a scary story that some people are harder to scare than others, or when writing a persuasive essay that some readers may already share your point of view while others are new or opposed to your argument. Following the primary rule of writing, to know your reader, you can't just write to someone familiar to you every time you write a story, an essay, a paper or a product description. Writing will open up to you a world of different personalities.

There must be so many other merits of writing. Please think about it.

What we can do today?

Writing something everyday and acquire a habit of writing is the first step to improve your writing.
Here are some suggestions to get used to writing:
1)Keep a daily journal
2)Introduce yourself, family, friends, or others.
  i)what do you like to do?
  ii)what is your favorite music?
  iii)etc..........
3)Review books, movies, newspaper editorial articles, music, and etc...
4)Look ahead, or back to your past experiences.
5)and Any kind of topic that you're interested in.

What is most recommended to do is Reviewing books.

What is a Book Review?

Book review has some elements:

1)it refers to the content of the book (or summary of the book)
2)it contains the readers reaction
3)it is written to be helpful for likely readers


Some of you may feel difficult to write book review, so at first, collect the phrases that you like or are impressed.
Secondly, brainstormby reading the phrases that you collect
Continue brainstorming until your ideas stop to stream. You may be surprised to see the amount of writings you made.
Thirdly, chose the most impressed thing that you felt through the reading, and begin to write along to specific topic.


The length of the writing is not count. What counts is already you have learned:
1. What the purpose of your writing?
2. What do you write?
3. Who are the readers?
4. What do the readers ask for?
5. Is your writing easy to understand?

Conclusion

What is needed for those have difficulties in writing is obvious. All they have to do is to write. Just write. However, Writing skills are consist of writers' experience and knowledge. Reading for writing is needed for them to be more confident.
There are many opportunities for writing in our daily life, after having fun with friends, eating delicious food, or whatever we experience. However, reviewing books is recommended for improvement of writing. Reviewers are required to sum the whole story of the book, and give some reaction. This kind of writing exercise will be good supplement for writing learners.


ReferencesEdit

村上玄一『小さな文章』(幻冬舎,2006年) 
佐良木昌『大学生のための論文作成術』(明石書店,2004年)