I have been approached by many people who've asked " What is Quality ?" Others have posed this query. "When is the best time to Write?" Still others have asked. "Is Grammar and Spelling really that important?" A real overwhelming top ranking enigma has to be this one."How do I know if I can write?"
The one which I am asked after I've had conversations and correspondences with these questioners is this.
"Can You Help Me??"
These four words are the ones I hope to address in this article my friends.
CAN YOU, HELP ME?
Sounds like a tall order! It needs to be handled with Diplomacy, Tact, Honesty and Expediency.
But how you ask?
The one who asks this question is, if honest, reached that point where their confidence and their fear of rejection are about to meet head on! "The Truth will set you free", seems an appropriate adage right now!
But what is the Truth?
I know, I know, I hear it too !
There's Jack Nicholson's voice in that Military courtroom scene being questioned by Tom Cruise who asks him for the Truth! To which Jack replies and I quote" Truth? Truth? You can't handled the Truth!"
It takes a great deal of patiences to first determine the truth and the degree that you need to dig to find if it exists in the work of the one who is requesting such an appraisal of their skills. Everyone can write but not everyone can write well!
The determining factors are not grammatical or an extensive vocabulary nor even an extensive display of literary achievements. Ones writing ability is determined by ones audience and their reaction to what your works has conveyed to them.
Perfect scores on examination papers, excellent verbal skills such as diction and proper pronunciation, and spelling accuracy which would win any spelling bee are helpful in being awarded a diploma but don't even come close to guaranteeing that the person can write.
No, the writer who can put in words those visions seen within their own imaginations. Describe them with all the clarity of a technicolor HD Bluray Presentation. Give their Readers that entertaining experience with such overwhelming intensity. That is the degree of writing that makes me say now that's quality!
Too often we are fed the line that accreditation is the true measure of all skills. The use of letters bearing prestigious names of academicae with pronouncements of Bachelor of this or Masters of that or Doctor of some such, are simply demonstrations of competency in attendance and memory retention.
I'm not saying that those who worked hard don't deserve some recognition for their achievements, rather what I am saying is that such symbols are not the true determinant of skill. The proof of a fine meal is in the eating and taste which one enjoys in consuming it. The skill of the Chef is proven by the diners compliments.
To be a good writer, one must first, a reader be. Reading the works of others helps you find what appeals to your target audience. Writers who enjoy popularity are those who understand how to gauge their readers. The genre with need to be established before the writer drafts the plot!
The topic, once the genre is chosen, needs to be carefully researched as to location, history, culture and ethnicity. Familiarity through landmarks chronology and setting will allow the readers to feel their way if they know it intimately. Details bring the scenes to life adding substance and character as well.
Descriptive words flavor the mix, especially when describing the surroundings the people and or the events which will make up the backdrop to the plot and the characters of the piece. When written with the reader in mind the story accomplishes it's goals better because it allows the writer to put the reader in the character's place and become engaged by the life of that character in detail.
If your audience feels that they can enter the body of the characters see with their eyes, feel what their feeling and anticipate the scenes as they unfold, then you have their interest. If you treat them as you want to be treated and entertain them, engage them, challenge them and confide in them, you have them.
Writing should be Fun! If you put yourself in your audience's place, see through their eyes, feel with their perspective and strive to make their reading experience as worthwhile as you possibly can then everybody wins! The writer will be appreciated, the reader will be entertained and the writing will be that, which I call "Quality".
Thanks for your time to read this! I appreciate it and you!
Regards Mike AKA the Professor
reprinted May 6th, 2015