Best Practices in Writing by Mary Catherine Rishcoff

by | Jun 6, 2019 | Entry | Blog writing competition | 2 comments

     For some persons, writing comes easy, while for others work is needed. To succeed in writing, there are practices that help make writing easier. The first step is to get an idea. After that, there comes the formulating of the idea, which requires thinking, connecting and imagining. These are all among the best practices in writing. They need attention from a writer to produce a literary work.

     Getting an idea to write on can be challenging; however, the world around us is full of ideas. Perhaps, a catchy title for the literary work would lead to the idea. Perhaps, looking out of a window or maybe even talking with a friend can generate ideas. A general clue on what to write about is a definite help towards success. Keep in mind that different audiences have different appeals.

     After the idea, I consider that formulating is necessary. In formulating, the writer expands on the idea or ideas. The writer gets to explore and imagine. After exploring and imagining, the writer proceeds to connect. The connection of thoughts, events, pictures, words, phrases and whatever else is imagined becomes relevant to formulating the story. When these connections are polished, they will form the story.

     Sorting is an essential step in writing practices. The author needs to pick and chose what is considered relevant information for the story. Like connecting, sorting takes considerable thought and imagination. Utilizing a basic outline helps the process of sorting.

     An outline serves to present the ideas and thoughts in a structured form. The outline is like the framework of a teepee, in that it provides structure. The structure or outline holds the information for the writer. It presents the information for the author in a formative manner, hence it assists in the sorting and connecting the details of the story.

     Once the details or information are sorted and connected, further development is best pursued. The information or contents of the outline get fine-tuned in order to proceed to the next step, which is ideally the writing of the literary work itself.

     The actual writing of the literary work makes use of literary devices. For example, the literary devices of simile or hyperbole are utilized. Also, constructing sentences and connecting sentences to express the information of the polished outline is crucial to the literary work. It is good practice to connect sentences such that a certain flow occurs. The greater connected the sentences, the better the story is likely to be.

     Word selection is key to connecting both the information and the sentences. Synonyms are quite useful. Of course, keep in mind that the use of language is dependent on the intended audience. A thesaurus is very useful to discovering synonyms.

     I consider that allowing the passage of time between writing sessions is another good practice in writing. This allows the author to rest and to regroup. It allows the writer to view the work with fresh eyes. Perhaps, there will be a new thought added. Perhaps, there will be a change made in the choice of a word. Maybe, there will be a sentence rewrite. A fresh perspective serves well.

    After the author considers that enough time has been devoted to getting the polished outline into a literary work, the next step is apparent. I consider the step of proofing as critical. Proofing allows the writer to revisit the work. It allows the author to consider whether or not that the literary work conveys the desired message and information in the manner chosen. It allows the author to make final corrections. All in all, the writer gets to see the literary work at face value.

     Of course, any writer needs to pay attention to punctuation, grammar and spelling. In the final stages of writing, the author checks the work in order to be sure that all is well with the punctuation, grammar and spelling. Although the convenience of a computer is extremely helpful to that end, it is not always reliable.

All too often, the author must rely on the skills and education that are brought to the work. The final writing practice of polishing requires not only effort on the part of the writer, but, also, knowledge.

     I consider that the allowing of time to lapse during writing as one of the most important practices in writing a notable literary work, since creativity itself is a process. For me, creativity is a process that requires time like yeast bread.  Creativity needs time to develop and to express. As authors, we are human. We require time to develop. So too, time is required to create.

     In addition to paying attention to punctuation, grammar and spelling as well as the use of literary devices, the author would be wise to utilize dictionaries, thesaurus, adjectives and adverbs. These tools enable giving zest to a story. The writing of bright red balloon is more appealing and descriptive than simply the use of red balloon. The use of words such as breeze, wind and zephyr is more appealing than the word wind used repeatedly.

     The use of tools such as dictionaries, thesaurus, adjective and adverbs serve to heighten a story, indeed. I believe that writing can be akin to painting a picture. The aforementioned tools add the color.

     In summation, no doubt that there are many best practices in writing, but when these practice are put together, a quality literary work may be realized. No practice can be ignored. Each practice requires attention towards the end of producing a noteworthy literary work. So, get an idea, formulate, outline, connect and polish. Don’t forget to proof.

Blog: Article One                                                    June 6,2019

By:    Mary Catherine Rishcoff


  1. faye

    I love these writing practices articles. Thank you for providing a channel for these, ReadersMagnet!

    • Emily

      I find these very helpful. Thank you!


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