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How To Write By Larry Okeke - Literature - Nairaland

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How To Write By Larry Okeke by Laryokeke: 4:25am On May 10, 2012
It is said that one speaks to faces, but writes to minds. For many centuries now, the art of writing has been used to dethrone despotic regimes, educate minds, extirpate racism, militate against abuse of human rights and other social threats. Hence, writing is a very effective way of getting to people’s minds and making them do what they initially would not do. But it is irrefutable to say that not all writings eventually get to the mind of the people. There are some articles, letters, passages that people cannot suffer themselves to read for even a minute because they fail to reach the mind of their intended audience. And if a piece of writing fails to reach the mind of its reader, that writing is nothing but a waste of time. This article hereby provides a step by step approach to writing, so that at the end of this passage, the reader would be able to construct meaningful and mind-penetrating passages easily.

First of all, before writing anything at all, one should be densely apprised on what one wants to write. Many people have picked up their pens to write at one time or the other, only to discover that they run out of words or points in the middle of their articles. They usually erroneously conclude that “they were not just cut out for writing” , but that’s not true. How can you write, when you do not know what to write? Its just like expecting your pen to flow, when there is no ink in it! If the words must flow incessantly, then you must read incessantly. It’s that simple! Before writing articles that are meant to educate readers, it is only pertinent that you study the topic you want to treat thoroughly, noting out points and facts as they arise.

After fixating your self with information on what you are about to write on, the next thing you should do is to create an outline. This is very simple. Write out the points that you know will be the foundational points of your article or the basis of your arguments. This should be done in chronological order. It will help you to formulate your words accurately and pointedly.

Now, an article can be perceived as warm, intimidating, monotonous, humorous, casual or emotional. It all depends on the tone of the author. You should choose the tone you want to use in your writing in accordance with the situation or theme you are addressing. This can be done by selecting your diction carefully. For instance, an article that is loosely constructed with many adverbs and colloquial expressions such as “You know”, “really”, “terribly”, e.t.c, will be considered jovial or casual by readers and this will definitely affect their reaction. Therefore you don’t want to use such words when writing to the president of your country. It is always advisable that you use simple, straightforward words and sentences as this will save you the confusion of having to discern your tone.

Once you’ve chosen your tone, introduce your topic in such a way that your tone can be easily deciphered in your first sentence. Most people usually start their articles with generally accepted quotes and wise sayings but it is noteworthy to say that you would sound more formal, original and precise, if you went straight to the point. When elucidating a culture, an art or the history of a thing, you should clearly simplify the history of your subject matter. Here, you must give facts, facts and nothing but facts. That is why most writers would always run out of ink here if they did not enrich themselves before hand with the needed information. Be sure to keep your tenses free of unnecessary jaw breaking words as they can easily force the reader to misconstrue your teaching. Besides, who wants to read an article that will be sending him to the dictionary after every one minute?

In the body of the writing, strive to maintain your tone. You will sound inconsistent, if you deviate from one tone to the other. By this time, you must have engraved your style of writing on the reader’s mind. You must maintain that style while exploring, expanding, and contracting your subject matter, avoid any word or expression that might create confusion and also make sure that every single punctuation, word, phrase, expression, and clause therein is absolutely necessary. Like Jesus Christ said; its not by thou many words that thou shall be heard”

Before concluding, mildly inform your reader of your intention with a paragraph that begins with “finally”, in conclusion, e.t.c. if your writing is meant to educate, then it is impertinent for you to draw conclusions for your reader. For example, when writing an article on “ The History of Akwa Ibom State” it is improper for you to conclude with “Akwa Ibom is a good State” or even use sentences that point to that. Why? Because you are expected to state the facts and allow your already enlightened readers to draw their respective conclusions. However, you are allowed to draw personal conclusions if you are writing an article on a topic like “ The Bad side of Obasanjo”. This is because you are criticizing, not educating. You should be careful to keep your concluding tenses strong and consistent enough to consolidate the supposed trust, you;ve earned from your reader.

After writing, prune your writing by removing every word that is uncalled for, especially adjectives and adverbs. It is needless to mention that you must ensure that your grammar, morphology and syntax are absolutely immaculate. You should call someone you trust his/her grammatical proficiency to proofread your work, if you do not trust your judgment. This is very necessary because, most readers will immediately write you off as more or less an illiterate if they find grammatical mistakes in your composition.

I do not mean to contradict this article, but you should also note that its not a must that you should conform your self to these steps because writing is an art. Every art allows for flexibility and creativity. The basic question you should have in mind is; will these elicit the envisaged reaction of my reader? If yes, then do not hesitate to incorporate it! Keep writing till I write you again.

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