By Kerstin Hall
I’m back. It’s been a while.
So you’re a writer. Or you want to be. Or you are here entirely by accident.
The thing is that almost everyone has the ability to write. They might never have learnt the skill based on their circumstances or they might not be very good because… they just aren’t very good. But once you can write, you can improve. And the potential for improvement is all that I can offer you.
The best way to improve your writing is by writing. There are tricks and gimmicks, but ultimately all new writers (regardless of their inherent talent) need practice. And even experienced writers can benefit from honing their skills.
This task is one which Ink Society did relatively early this year, but I thought it was pretty valuable. It won’t take you long, so give it a go.
1. Write the most exciting thing possible. You have two minutes. You must stop once you reach two minutes, even if that is mid-sentence. Don’t think about the task before hand, grab a piece of paper and start immediately.
2. Now write the most boring thing you can. You have two minutes. Go.
Okay, breathe. What did you produce?
Was your exciting piece really that exciting, or was it just a collection of clichés and intense adjectives? And your boring piece, did you manage to create a piece that was completely free of intrigue and character? Which was more challenging?
The lesson is that you don’t need to try so hard. Maybe you struggled to write the boring piece, because being deliberately uninteresting is fairly challenging. The most menial of situations can be bizarrely interesting. If you keep trying to push for drama, you’ll often just end up with a melodramatic mess. Which is, frankly, not all that exciting for a reader.