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Deciphering good writing

Updated on June 29, 2015

Nearly every freelancer wants to find the elusive keys to good writing. All technical, short story and essay writers want to discover the secrets that will give their writing an edge.

Writing is a subjective art. That said, putting a few time-tested suggestions in place will enable it to reach out to others.

Why good writing is important

In this digital age, writing skills may seem redundant. People resort to using abbreviations to send messages on their mobile phones. "U" is short for "you" in a short text message.
Credible writing skills are essential. They help a person travel the road of life, managing all its aspects. Important for most jobs, they offer monetary value.

Writing provides order. It is a way for people to organize their thoughts and expressions. They structure the many goings-on in the mind.

Writing skills help writers to know their audiences. The types of responses writers get to their writing allows them to know who connects best with them. Indeed, writing is an indispensable way of engaging readers over the internet.

The difference between good and talented writing

Many writers wonder why, after trying hard to get rid of annoying errors, their writing fails to get the attention it should.

The truth is that it takes more than freedom from grammatical errors to make a piece of writing outstanding. Good, clear writing is not necessarily talented writing. A writer may have applied the rules of polished penmanship, but it may still fall short.

Fiction that is banal, or too much like other fiction is still powerless fiction. To make his writing a cut above the rest, a writer needs to make it energetic. Whether through pieces of information or a well-crafted story, he must make things happen in the reader's mind.


Qualities of good technical writing

Technical writing, for many aspiring authors, may seem a breeze. After all, it just takes is knowing some essential facts.

Though this is true, it takes more than mere research and fact production to produce credible pieces of technical writing.

For a start, such writing anticipates questions. Skilled technical writers need to know about a subject, and what their readers will likely ask. With their skills, they get to the hearts of topics.

Essentially, technical writers teach. They present information simply, without being too simple.

They ground their writing in data. All the facts that a writer has at hand are completely verified and supported. These writers make sure that they proofread their writing before presenting it.

Qualities of good short story writing

Good story writers are always aching to know what will make their stories stand out. The answer is elusive, yet simple.

Good story writers use body language. They describe a character and his actions, letting his body language bring him to life. They rely on a character's idiosyncracies to make him interesting.

These writers are not afraid to 'get it wrong'. They free their writing and let the words flow before the editing process begins. They keep their words simple, but never lose the depth of their ideas.

Good story writers experiment with different points of view. A unique voice can give the reader a completely different focus and experience. This said, a common mistake short story writers make is to give their story to a non-essential character. They narrate the story through these secondary characters, often confusing their readers.

Short story writers use twists. They often introduce unpredictable ideas that work against what readers expect from the central characters. They craft strong titles, and keep their stories short.

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Qualities of good essay writing

A writer may simply want to communicate his ideas on different topics, be they politics, pets, religion or technology. The essay becomes a highly useful tool. Producing one takes skill, time and effort.

Good essay writing is readable. It does not rely on verbose language that will confuse. The writer's aim is to reach out to his readers, so anyone should understand it.

To add, an essay should develop gradually. Small ideas should flow to form bigger, concrete and compelling ones. Focused, a good essay is not a mish-mash of convoluted ideas.

Most importantly, good essay writers know their audience. They write for their readers, provoking their thoughts, compelling their actions and touching their hearts.


Deciphering good writing is the key to producing it.


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have missed you and your material. This was insightful and so well said.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 2 years ago from Templeton, CA

      You are right that writing can technically be good, but still not grab a reader. Something needs to bring it to life and capture the reader's imagination.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Welcome back Michelle! This was a great article with a little something for everyone.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Great article here on the art of talented writing . All helps. True, I see so many people with great grammar and sometimes English degrees who cannot tell a great story. So you are very right, my dear. Give me some time and perhaps I'll write a gripping story for you.

      I,m unusual, though. I never think of rules. Everything just flows. Much peace, my sweet friend. Have a great evening.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Good to see you back in HP Michelle! My HP articles are spontaneous. It's a smörgåsbord of whatever comes to mind but I like poetry, essays and short-stories. I just hope my writings are compelling enough for my readers and good enough to touch their hearts.

      Good, insightful hub.


    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Bill. Haven't been about lately, but am back with a vengance! will be by!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Chitra! Yes, I'm glad to be back and will hang around pretty often....have missed you guys too. Nice to be home!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's nice to see an article by you again. I agree with your points here. Well done!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great insightful hub about good writing!

      As writers one should keep in mind these useful suggestions. So far I enjoy writing whatever is going on in my thoughts. And most of my poems are spontaneous. I believe I am still learning and I enjoy reading other brilliant writers.

      Thanks for sharing this insightful hub and You submitted this hub after a long time. I missed you and I am sure even HP did. Thanks!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Let's unlock the doors to good writing.