Why Education is Necessary to be a Good Writer

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Raimey Gallant’s website and the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, but I’m glad I did, as I’ve been reading and learning a lot from the talented participants of this hop.

Let me begin by introducing myself as I’m new to this group. I am based in New Delhi, India and I’m a lawyer by profession. A few years ago, I took an extended break from the legal field, and began writing a blog since I had always loved writing. However, before beginning my writing journey, I took a Creative Writing class, because I’ve always believed that education is essential for success in any field.

I joined the blogging community 2.5 years ago, and soon realised that most Indian bloggers had no training as writers. In fact, many could not even string a sentence together in English, which ironically was their chosen language to write in.

Recently, many bloggers released their e-books during an India-specific publishing festival organised by the peer support group, Blogchatter. A few of these new authors reached out to me to review their books, as that would help spread the word.

I’d like to focus on one person’s book in this post because unlike the others in our indigenous community, he writes well. He has a good command of English, both in terms of correct grammatical usage as well as an impressive vocabulary. Hence, I was surprised that his short stories left me absolutely cold as a reader.

It may sound strange, but up until that point I had thought a person who writes ‘language’ well has what it takes to write a good book. Now, I’ve realised that is simply not true.

Writing a good book requires two distinct set of skills: the ability to write an engaging story with believable characters that strike a chord with readers; and the correct language skills to write it in. One can do without the latter if they have a good editor, but one cannot write a good book without the former.

I advised my blogger friend to take a course in creative writing so he could understand and work on certain basic principles:

  1. The plot must be unique and engaging. It must be developed at a steady pace and not feel rushed or too slow
  2. The characters need to be developed, so the reader is interested in their stories
  3. The stories may be inspired by existing ones, but they should never feel boring or derivative
  4. Short stories are particularly difficult because each one needs to be distinct from the others, yet equal in impact
  5. Every good story has a ‘soul’ or a ‘feeling’. A creative writing course can’t teach you how to infuse that but if you’re an avid reader, you’ll know what a story lacks

At this juncture, a disclaimer is necessary. I have only one published work to my name, which is a collection of my travelogues. Though I have written numerous short stories on my blog, the novel in my head remains in planning stages.

Despite my inexperience, I know that education sets a bad writer apart from a good one. If like me, you aspire to write a bestseller someday, invest in educating yourself first.

I hope you found this post useful. If you did, please let me know in the comments below. Also, give me that much-needed boost so I can begin writing that novel soon!

 

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Visit the other #AuthotToolboxBlogHop participants here

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

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25 Comments

  1. Oh, I didn’t know about this blog hop either. I have come across many bloggers who use the mobile lingo excessively. U, coz, bcoz, ur and all of that. For some reason, I am not a fan of butchering the language. That’s enough to throw me off their work.

  2. I like your upfront post Noor. In fact I’m just back after reading a flash by an Indian blogger and although the story is great the grammar part is highly misplaced. So I landed up telling her that…Kindly of course. It’s natural to falter when a language is not your mother tongue but sometimes we take it too much for granted.

    1. I was a bit worried about being honest in this post! I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but it’s really sad when you can count on your hands, the number of decent writers in the Indian blogging community. Let’s hope things change!

  3. This is pretty great advice. I love how you incorporate your own journey of learning into the advice. Really helpful. I hope a lot of people read this, and I’ll definitely be sharing it!

    1. Thank you 😊
      I was so confused before writing this post- I wasn’t sure I had any real advice to offer as a writer, at this stage. I’m glad this simple article resonates with you.

  4. Great post, and welcome to the blog hop! 😀 It’s true, education is such a valuable tool, especially when it comes to writing. I love that you made a distinction between writing engaging material and also using proper mechanics. Too many people focus on one or the other, but great writing requires both.

  5. As an educator, I love this post! Grammar is difficult, but it can be conquered. Keep going on your journey! I can’t wait to see your planning become a novel!

  6. Welcome to the blog hop!

    I agree that if you butcher language in your blog and expect people to buy your books, you are selling yourself short. A great way to further your writing education, in my experience, is to attend webinars and to read about the craft.

    The Women in Publishing Summit is one of my favourites. Check out my Notes on the Women in Publishing Summit 2020.

    As for books, I have an entire Goodreads shelf filled with excellent advice about writing craft and writing career that I’m always adding to.

  7. Really amazing ! love the way you have written the importance of Education to be a good writer and the journey of yours .I can say Education should be must either yiu wanna become writer or a good human , without an education i don;t think we can survive or can get a good life .

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