Write Edit Index Posts

A significant percentage of books and stories are written in third person. The third-person perspective allows the author or writer to look inside the characters and give as much information about them as possible, such as their thoughts, feelings and motivation. The author knows when one character is deceiving another or when there is an occurrence beyond the sphere of knowledge of the characters. Third-person perspective is a powerful position that allows many elements of a story to be woven together in a seamless manner into a perfect piece of literature.

However, there is another perspective that can be used to write a compelling story, the first person perspective.

In this case, the author and the reader can see the world through the eyes of the one narrating the book. It is a compelling way of telling a story in the sense that the reader can discover things at the same time with the character, which can make them feel as if they are indeed going through similar events. Although first-person narratives seem to be rare in most genres, the best post-apocalyptic stories use first-person perspective to narrate events.

In case you are used to writing narratives in third person perspective, you might find it difficult to shift gears to first person point of view. You have to be extremely careful about how you tell the story or reveal information. How then do you ensure you write the best first person narrative?

Below are a few tips for writing a first person narrative you can start employing today.

1. Always Keep it Simple and Clear

Keep your narrative simple by avoiding too many multi-faceted elements. Keep in mind that explanations of complicated back stories are best done through speech, but making the speech complicated will interrupt the overall flow of the main story.

2. Keep the Cast of Characters Small

Each time you introduce a new character, make sure you explain where they are from and who they are. This can become tedious for the reader if you keep introducing new characters in your narrative. Furthermore, introducing new characters too many times slows down the narration of the most important events.

3. The Narrator Should Be In Every Scene

Considering the fact that the narrator isn’t a mind-reader, the only way he/she can know what someone is thinking is by telling them. The same applies to the events that happen out of the narrator’s sight where someone must narrate to them what happened. For this to be possible, the narrator should be in every scene. However, you can have scenes within scenes whereby another character explains or describes to the narrator what actually happened.

4. Always Keep Your Story in Active Voice

Sometimes it is hard to keep the flame burning in first person narratives because it is very easy to get tempted into using passive language. Passive language is rarely a gripping writing style. It is like giving someone your diary to read as a way of keeping him or her entertained. That can’t work at all. Therefore, always keep your story in an active voice, and the best way of doing this is by using speech. Make the speech short, interactive and captivating.

5. Use Different Styles to Reveal Emotions

Always use different styles to reveal how a narrator is feeling. Using the same method all the time makes the narrative boring and monotonous. For instance, if you use the term “I felt…..” every time you describe feelings or emotions (e.g. I felt frustrated, I felt sad, I felt disillusioned), it renders your story monotonous.

Alternatively, vary the way you reveal the narrator’s inner emotions. For instance, you can say “In choked desolation, I walked through the ruins without even the slightest hope of sighting any valuable remains”.

Although writing a first-person narrative can be a real challenge, I hope you find these tips for writing a first-person narrative useful. If you have never written a first-person narrative before, take your time to read more first-person narratives to see and learn how advanced authors manage to weave a perfect piece of narrative using the tips highlighted above.

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Writing and editing- two very different activities, yet both deal with the same material: the written word. These two are the reasons why there are great novels like The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and other such classics, plus the tons of engaging articles and essays that you can dig up online.

Of course, one can argue that a good writer should also be a good editor (or possess, at least, a modicum of editing ability). “Omit needless words” said William J. Strunk in his Elements of Style, so a good writer is someone who knows when to cut words out, even if it means taking out sentences and paragraphs that were the result of hours of thinking. Alternatively, a good editor is one who can also write well, one who recognises all the tenets and tropes of good writing, and who knows how to transform sentences so that they can flow better on the page.

What is Writing?

Before delving into the differences between writing and editing, it’s fitting to provide a definition for each.

Writing, simply put, is the act of putting pen (or any other writing implement for that matter) to paper. It is the act of recording one’s thoughts and transferring it into a medium that can also be understood by other people.

Despite what most people would think, the act of writing isn’t a “language” or an “art.” It’s actually a form of technology, one that was borne millenias past through man’s everyday practical needs- such as the exchange of information or the recording of data.

So yes, the grocery list you wrote on a paper napkin and your 30000-word Phd thesis are both forms of writing, all things considered. The thought behind each is the same: to record information so that you or someone else can retrieve or read it later. The only difference here is that one was written for utility (i.e. to list down stuff that you need to buy at the grocery store), while the other is to educate readers and communicate thoughts.

What is Editing?

If writing is the creation of text, much like how a potter creates pottery or an artist a painting, then editing is the polishing that comes after the finished product is done.

Or in more formal terms: Editing is the process by which an editor (which can also be the writer their selves) clears up and improves a draft to prepare it for publication. This can be done by correcting grammatical or spelling errors if any are found in the text, rewriting awkward phrases, deleting unnecessary words and sentences, and any such alteration that the editor seems fit. All of these are done to make the text more precise and more effective at conveying its message to readers.

Or in simpler terms, editing is the act of making a text more readable. Without editing, the public would have to make do with newspaper headlines filled with grammatical errors, or articles that are just one big block of unreadable text. Editing ensures that readers won’t get a headache when they’re perusing textual content.

A Look at the Similarities

Since both deal with the written word, we can expect that there is a partial overlap with regards to the major aspects involved in writing and editing.

Imagine being a cook, making a meal out of simple ingredients, and churning out an excellent dish that can make your taste buds dance for joy. The problem is, there are rarely excellent cooks that can whip up a perfect meal in short notice. You need to have an extra set of hands to make sure that everything’s in order. This other cook will ensure that you’re putting the right amount of spices, and you’re not overcooking the meat or any other ingredient. They will make sure that the dish that you will churn out will be palatable.

So, these two cooks have the same skillsets- cooking and tasting- yet they perform two different functions. This is also how writers and editors go: one is in charge of writing text, while the other oversees the overall presentation of the text. Yet both can recognise the qualities of good writing, and both can write.

Writing Versus Editing

But of course, writing and editing are vastly different from each other. Beginner writers are often told to let other people edit their writings (or at least, let a bit of time pass before they can edit or revise their own work), because it’s easy enough for one to fall in love with their words and not want to change any of them. “Kill your darlings, even if it breaks your egocentric scribbler’s heart” Stephen King once said. As a lot of editors and writers would attest, editing is a vicious and cruel job.

Celebrated thinker and writer Ayn Rand provides a quick overview of the differences between writing and editing(3). Writing is a proactive process wherein you must rely solely on your unconscious mind to guide you. It requires you to be personal, emotional, and irrational if need be.

Editing, on the other hand, requires you to be objective and far removed from your writing as possible. It is a reactive process. You already have a written piece of text in your hand, and you just need to look it over and tweak whatever it is that needs to be tweaked. Rand suggests that in editing, a writer must look at their work as if someone else has written it. This removes all the biases that comes with editing one’s own work. She recommends doing the editing business in layers, so that you can see your work from many different aspects.

A Good Writer = A Good Editor, and Vice Versa

There are good writers and there are good editors. The same can also be said true for the opposite. But the fact remains that if one wants to be published in this day and age, they should know how to distance themselves from their own work, and see everything with an objective eye, no matter how hard it can be.

Additionally, if you’re a business and are looking to maximise your content’s reach, it’s crucially important that you work with a good writer or content marketing agency that understands the power of content.

Many SEO agencies in Australia provide SEO or content optimisation services whereby they strategically plan and produce content to rank highly in search engines such as Google. The content acts as a cornerstone to drive high quality organic traffic (SEO traffic) and in turn, results in improve brand exposure and ultimately leads and sales.

A good writer or editor is able to not only write content that engages with its readers but will also edit the content that maximises its search visibility through search engines. This is part of the overarching umbrella of SEO marketing, where content plays a critical role in helping the business be found online.

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Also known as “the art of making up things”, creative writing as crucial part of today’s society. This article will use famous examples to showcase what really makes the art of creative writing successful and what it is made up of.

Introduction into Creative Writing

You might have heard creative writing being called different things. So, what is creative writing? Well, this is an art of all kinds – it is an art of writing. It is writing done not in a technical or academic way, yet is able to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Though its definition is somehow loose, creative writing can be considered any type of writing that is self-expressive and original, for the most part. A news article, for instance, can’t be considered as a piece of creative writing because its main focus is not to relay the feelings of the writer, rather present facts.

The goal of a creative writing piece is to relate to its audience through human experiences and to entertain. Creative writers try to get a truth about human beings through storytelling as well as poetics. If you would like to give creative writing a try, be sure to keep in mind that whether you’re trying to express a thought or a feeling, the first crucial step is to always use your imagination.

You will find that creative writing is commonly used in:

  • Plays
  • Poetry
  • Television and movie scripts
  • Songs
  • Fictional stories (short stories, novels, and novellas)
  • Memoirs
  • Speeches
  • Personal essays

As evident from the list above, some non-fiction types of writing can as well be considered as creative writing. Personal essays and memoirs, for example, can be creatively written to inform your audience about your life in an entertaining and expressive way. Taking in mind that these types of creative writing are written down in first person view, it is quite easier for them to be very creative.

Editing closely relates to both general writing and creative writing and should be understood in order to achieve a well written and engaging piece of content.

Some types of techniques used in creative writing are as follows:

  • Character development
  • Underlying theme
  • Plot development
  • Dialogue
  • Anecdotes
  • Figures of speech
  • Emotional appeal
  • Imaginative language
  • Point of view
  • Heavy description
  • Metaphors and similes
  • Vivid setting

Creative Writing Examples

Songs and Poetry 

A song or a poem tends to be more mysterious, or elusive, because it doesn’t have unlimited space. However, due to its spatial limitations, it can end up making leaps in time and subject, and it does not really have to depend on narrative structure. In songs and poetry, literary devices, such as metaphors and similes, may at times be used in order to take the reader to surprising places. One great example of this is Sylvia Plath’s ‘A Life’ poem opening part:

  • Touch it; it will not shrink like eyeballs,
  • This egg-shaped baili-wick, clear like a tear.
  • Here is yesterday, last year
  • Lily distinct and palm-spear as a vast flora
  • Windless thread-work of a tapestry

Notice how shocking this comparison is – how it captures the attention of the reader immediately. The goal of the image of this poem is to basically build from the idea of life being the same as an eyeball and make the reader really want try to visualise it.

Play and Fictions 

On the other hand, a play or a novel has a lot of time to unfold. So, fiction normally contains character development and plot. You want your story to attract and captivate readers, as a creative writer. You also want to establish a good relationship between the characters and the readers as well. To be able to do this, you will require both emotional and physical details so that your readers are able to empathize with whatever pain, pleasure or action the characters undergo. To use an example here is an excerpt from Great Expectations – a novel by Charles Dickens:

“There either is or isn’t, that is the how things are. The color of each and every day. The way I felt to being a child. The salt water on your sun-burnt legs. At times the water is red, and at other times it is yellow. But what color it may be in mind, will depend on the day. I am not going to highlight the whole story as it happened. I am just going to narrate it to you the way I remember.”

The voice of the character in the above quote is quite captivating. Not only does it sound honest, it is also a little haunting and very thoughtful as well. The fore-shadowing of what truly transpired will want to make you as the reader continue reading and the character who is being created is one that every reader will want to learn and know more about.

Summary

Creative writing is the art of capturing human emotion and enabling the reading the relate to an emotional sense. However, great creative writers should always be able to consistently form content which engages the reader through numerous approaches. To be able to achieve this, you have to try to capture a human truth or an emotion through creativity and imagination.

Creative writing does not include technical or academic writing since the two types of writing can’t include made up material and aside from that, they lack the ability to express the feelings or writers.

Creative writing is aimed at trying to captivate an audience by creating a thoughtful or emotional appeal. However, it is how a creative writing piece is written that is going to determine its overall effect on the minds of the readers. Some kinds of creative writing, such as songs and poems, lack unlimited space and thus tend to be less narrative, but more mysterious.

Types like plays and novels have more room to explore plot development and character. Creative writing can be for anyone; all that is called for is having something to write about and imagination as well. Not only can creative writing be a great entertainment outlet, it can also be therapeutic too. In fact, many psychologists have been recommending creative writing to examine and express feelings.

In this art of making up things, you only need to make use of your imagination, pretend anything you wish, and help your readers to do the same. Once you do this, your creative writing juices will flow automatically and you no doubt come up with a great piece of engaging writing.

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The change of words from their native language to English has significantly affected thousands of words. In such occurrences, we find that a word’s meaning is completely altered, or its spelling is changed. “Inquire” and “enquire” are of two different spellings but the same word. The general definition of that word means to seek information about something or conduct a formal investigation. The corresponding nouns are inquiry (for inquire) and enquiry (for enquire).

History of Inquire & Enquire

Many words have shifted their meaning and spelling since they arrived in English; therefore, it is quite hard to justify arguments from etymology. Somehow, it is hard to define what is “correct” since the usage of words varies between various communities of speakers, and each one of them will regard their way as right.

As language evolved, it has been learnt that the Latin “inquīrere” that meant, “to seek for” was replaced by old French “enquerre”, which held the same meaning. Despite this, enquire is still used as an English word. Technically, both words are based on the act of seeking. During its passage to English, the prefix of the word” inquīrere” (Latin) became changed to en- or even at times an-. This effect was because the word arrived in Old French, in which the word was “enquerre”. Language has become more sophisticated, and we find that the same root word can be seen in different modern English words. Such words include; require, quest, question, acquire request among others.

Enquire has mostly been regarded as an alternative form of inquire. Modern dictionaries provide “inquire” as the standard form but go ahead and point out that “enquire” could still be used in the sense “to ask a question”. With time, the word “enquire” has slowly diminished as people use inquiry mostly. Unless restricted to a particular style of writing, most writers opt for inquire especially when not sure on what to pick.

In recent times, the difference developed between the two words has continued to be in use in parallel in British and roughly in other same preferences. Australian English stand in a similar position as the British English. Canadian English tends to lean more on the American English styles.

Pronunciation of Inquire & Enquire

  • Enquiry;

En-quir-y / ˈ inkwarē, in ˈ kwi(ə)rē/

[en-kwahy uhr-ee, en-kw uh-ree]

  • Inquiry;

In-quir-y / ˈ inˈkwarē, in ˈ kwi(ə)rē/

[in-kwahy uhr-ee, in-kw uh-ree]

Definitions of Inquire & Enquire

Various dictionaries worldwide, have managed to come up with different meanings of this word. For instance;

Dictionary.com;

  • Seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge
  • An investigation, as into an incident

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary;

  • An act of asking information

Merriam-Webster;

  • To ask about, put a question
  • To search into, make investigations

Vocubulay.com;

  • To have a wish or desire to know something

Cambridge English Dictionary;

  • An official process to discover facts about something

Macmillan;

  • The process of asking about something or examining something in order to get more information

Forms of the two words

Much like any other words, these two words also come in a variety of forms. Here are a few examples of how they can be used:

  • Noun; inquiry, enquiry, inquirer, enquirer
  • Verb; inquire, enquire
  • Adverb; inquiringly, enquiringly

Use in sentences

The use of these two words differs. In a sentence, the word enquiry is commonly used as for the general sense of “ask”.

Examples:

  • I enquired about his name
  • I received an enquiry asking to provide a free quote on a bathroom renovation job in Sydney
  • The man most likely knew what was wrong because he didn’t enquire reception

For the case of inquiry, it is often used for a formal investigation.

  • There was a car crash last week, we are going to investigate and inquire about this incident
  • The police officers have asked when the inquiry will be complete
  • When Malcolm Turnbull was appointed Prime Minister of Australia in 2015 he was inquired about his new laws which would combat union corruption

In various use of words and pronunciation, it is evident that the British English differs from the US English. In practice, enquire and its associated noun (enquiry) is common in British English while inquire and its associated noun (inquiry) are common in American English.

We find that in US and Canada, there is no distinction made. Therefore, the word used is “inquiry” for both formal and informal question, whereas in Britain, the use of “enquiry” is more prevalent.

A newspaper known as the Guardian in British directs writers to use inquiry. Besides, the Oxford English Dictionary only recognises” inquire” as a more dominant form. This tends to diminish enquire. (From Oxford Dictionaries)

Particularly in the UK, the two words are of different use in a sentence. Enquiry means a question (informal) while inquiry means an investigation (formal). (Wiktionary)

Example (from sentence.yourdictionary.com); here is a sentence where the two words have been used.

  • Today they are having an inquiry about my job enquiry.
  • But as soon as this was accomplished the government opened a comprehensive enquiry into the causes of dissatisfaction, which served as the basis of numerous social laws, and led eventually to the establishment of universal suffrage and the substitution in Belgium of a democratic for a middle-class regime.
  • The edition of 1723 was presented as a nuisance by the Grand Jury of Middlesex, was denounced in the London Journal by “Theophilus PhiloBritannus,” and attacked by many writers, notably by Archibald Campbell (1691-1756) in his Aretelogia (published as his own by Alexander Innes in 1728; afterwards by Campbell, under his own name, in 1733, as Enquiry into the Original of Moral Virtue).

When we expound on the sentence, we see that the seeking being carried out is due to asking for the job. When a job opportunity is posted on the newspaper, you would go ahead and ask for the vacant position; that is to enquire. If your asking is being looked into, then is correct to say that an inquiry is conducted.

Here are more sentences that are in the (UK convention)

  • The judge has suspended the inquiry into the police shooting of the escaped mental patient.
  • I would like to enquire about the toilet facilities in the hotel.

Both the nouns inquiry and enquiry can mean inquest, question or investigation. You can choose to use them interchangeably. In the US, “enquiry” is considered a spelling mistake of “inquiry”. The fact that these two words have a different meaning makes you keen when referring to something on someone. However, there is still notable leniency on this distinction. These words have been used interchangeably for a very long time now. The word like many others is bound to continue changing meaning and usage as time goes by.

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