1. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    What makes good writing good?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Infinitytruth, Oct 17, 2011.

    And how do you make your writing better? How did you improve your writing?

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Practice and reading well written books.
     
  3. TheWritingWriter
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    TheWritingWriter Senior Member

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    Your style improves, your wording improves, your plotting improves, & honestly it really does come mostly with practice. Also, as Jhunter said, it does help to read well written books.
     
  4. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Writing, writing, re-writing, re-writing, reading, reading, repeating, repeating--these things will help you improve. In the end, "good" is subjective. The more you write and read, the better you will become, but you will never become the best, nor will anyone else. Writing is learning, and it never stops. :)
     
  5. shyxter
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    shyxter Member

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    Explore creative habits that lead to creative discoveries such as writing down your dreams and brainstorming with others.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    What makes good writing good?

    1.how skillfully words are used
    2.how interesting/appealing/involving the content is to the reader
    3.how well the combination of 1 and 2 work together
     
  7. Androxine Vortex
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    Androxine Vortex Member

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    Well it obviously has to be entertaining right? If you go to the bookstore, you wouldn't pick up up a book, skim through it, and say "Well this looks boring!" and buy it, would you? I hope not. If I see a book at the store that looks interesting (usually from cover art lol) I will read the back cover to get a run-down. This is where the author needs to hook me into wanting this book. If it appeals to me, then I will flip open to a random page and begin reading. Even though i have no idea what they might be talking about, I will get a feel of how the author writes and how he intends us to interprit what he visualizes in his mind.

    It's really simple when you think about it. Why are good foods good? Because they taste good. Why are good movies good? Because they are good to watch. Why are good books good? Because they are good to read. Got it? Good.
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good reading.

    Don't just read and think "I enjoyed that" or "I didn't like that". Work out why. And read widely, not just within your preferred genre. If you don't get the reading right I don't see how the writing has a chance.
     
  9. ShadowScribbler
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    ShadowScribbler Member

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    Not just good reading, bad reading helps too. You have to soak in writing -- the good, the bad, the obscene. Then you can choose what kind of writing is more like you, and then you can proceed to make it yours. As digitig said, figure out why you like the things you do; why you don't like some others, it'll help improve your writing. After that, it's just a matter of practise. Even the most talented writers need practise or else their gifts would wither.

    I think what makes good writing also depends on how honest the writer is. I find polite writers such a bore, but then again, I apply this to every form of art. Be the honest artist, not the polite one.
     
  10. immaturegirl91
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    immaturegirl91 New Member

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    usually i'll read something twice to make sure i didn't anything and to compare my reactions

    1st time: read without picking everything apart
    2nd time: try to pick up on any details and deconstruct the story piece by piece
    3rd: only if still confused and feel as if I've missed out on something
    4th: if I really like it
    5th: if I get bored


    what makes writing good? well, I usually try to go to books that make me think and ask myself questions and if they give me that good feeling. i'm sure you guys know what i'm talking about. it's about the joy and excitement of reading something so wonderful, it's already the next day in the afternoon and you think it's still the same day yesterday. it makes you shake in fear, question your self worth as a reader and writer, sometimes even as a human being and feel just about everything the writer wants to make you feel. if they can get me to that stage, usually they're pretty good but not perfect. there's more to writing than just making it a good read for your audience after all.

    as i've gotten older, my tastes have changed and developed so it's harder for me to find such an enthralling book or good read. but i do across books that don't thrill me, but make me think all the same. i'm not even reading the book and i'll be talking to someone, mumbling more like it and thinking about the book. why did this happen? what was the writer's purpose in creating that scene? what should i get out from this book? how can i apply this to my own life and writing? what just happened?

    a combination of a thrill and excitement and a book that makes me asks questions instead of just giving me a straightforward meaning/theme are usually what i consider top notch work... too bad they hardly ever go hand in hand for me

    improving writing can only be through: writing/reading a variety of books (from old religious texts to contemporary fiction) it'll get you working on ideas and give you a sense of what works and what doesn't
     
  11. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I struggle to get through it once. A good writer connects with their character, and through their character their readers. Unfortunately this is a truism for everyone in every job, it is not what you know that is important, it is who you know. This is obvious for anyone in an industry wanting to win a blah blah contrac It is also true if you wish to discover a ... bored of my own voice now. Wear a johnny, think that was my conclusion.
     
  12. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Interesting, well-described worlds with good writing, realism, logic, story and badass characters.
     
  13. biggergib
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    biggergib Member

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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I would say that most good writing has a good combination of interesting people witnessing interesting events and responding to said events in interesting ways. The writing has to come across as believable. A good story will cause the reader to become emotionally invested and desire a certain outcome. Whether that outcome is achieved does not matter, as either way they will remember it as the happy ending or the one that they never saw coming.

    Practice is important for improving. I am writing a novel currently and when I go back and look at the first few pages compared to the ones I have written recently I can see improvement. Also important is your use of tools that are available to you. One of the most important of which is a thesaurus. When I want to describe a certain idea or word I like to look it up in the thesaurus because there you get a variety of options that you can choose from. This results in clear articulation of the idea in your mind as well as a good variety in the words used to tell your story.

    If you happen to be in the Netherlands, I recommend brainstorming in a coffee shop... Not writing, just brain storming!
     
  14. Gracia Bee
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    Gracia Bee Member

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    Be general. Write something everyone can relate to. I read that on someone's blog. Muigo's I think.
     
  15. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    I find "good writing" comes down to taste all you can really do is find writers you admire, and try to work out why it is you admire them and what it is about their writing that you enjoy.

    For me, "good writing" comes from economy of words, believable characters and deep, twisting storylines.
    The only way to actually achieve this is, as everyone has said, practice.

    I will note that one author (can't remember who it was) said "I never read fiction. If you read fiction, you'll wind up writing just like the person you're reading. I read non-fiction. You can't make up things as interesting as real life."

    I thought that was a really interesting sentiment.
     
  16. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    What makes writing good? What defines good? Is a work that is considered brilliant by a small degree of literary "experts" really "better" than a smash bestsellers that many people have enjoyed and been effected by? "Good" is largely subjective.

    To me, good writing is any writing that can hold my interest. What makes writing better? I say practice - Practice, honest and informed critique, and revision. Reading helps but I honestly think only practice and critique/revision really have a significant impact. Reading is typically good for the inspiration/confidence factor. JMHO
     
  17. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Good writing makes good writing good.
    There's a time to keep it simple, and then there's the time to spice the balls out of it. Good writers know when to do each.
     
  18. Enerzeal
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    Enerzeal Member

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    It's so difficult in my mind to really nail down what makes good writing good.

    In my mind as I write I will phase between two different states. State one is were I am thoroughly engrossed in my own story. I am there, I am feeling what the character feels. It has stopped being words and is now a fully fleshed person. State two is were I lose track of the story. I am rushing, or I am tired with the plot, or it just somehow feels wrong. Really good writing is having that unique rush of adrenaline that hits when you realize deep down that yes, yes this is damn good stuff. It's actually almost impossible to explain, it is as easy to explain what makes fun, fun?
     
  19. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Good advice. LOL, you said spice the balls out of it...I find that funny. That's funny. :D
     
  20. Rynsworld
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    Rynsworld New Member

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    I'm not a perfect writer by any means, but I reckon I know what makes for good reading: Something that flows, there should be no struggle, there is nothing that pulls you out of 'the zone' more than having to go back and reread a sentence.

    You get better by reading books that flow.
     
  21. ShadowScribbler
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    ShadowScribbler Member

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    I read somewhere that you knew your writing was good when you worked very hard to make it appear effortless. Or something to that effect.
     

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