What makes a good writer?

by Joe Pelissier on April 1, 2011

Recently, as part of a pitch, I was asked to submit 150 words on ‘What makes a good writer?’

Everyone will have a different take on this, but here is what I wrote:

“Good writing has an effortless flow.  The reader subconsciously responds to the mood and style of the writing to become informed, involved and maybe, even inspired. The writing is concise; it avoids jargon and self-important expression.

The words are a reflection of the conversation that is already going on in the mind of the reader.  This is because the writer knows his audience and their desire for the removal of uncertainty.

Good writing adapts itself to different media. It knows that the rules for writing for the web are different to writing for print.

The writing reflects a willingness to edit.  To hone what you write so that it is as sharp as a ‘bullfighter’s killing sword’.  Remove redundancy, convert passives into active and to nip and tuck so the words whistle and whirr.

Effective communication is the end result – a desire to engage with what you read, whatever the subject matter and whatever the media.”

What do you think? Post a comment and let me know.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pen man October 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Pretty decent effort. Dislike the rather pretentious ‘bullfighter’s killing sword’, your own willingness to edit would have come in handy there. Bit too much self love in your words, even self importance. Irony springs to mind.

admin October 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

Listen to Ernest Hemmingway…It was he who wrote, “Most writers slough of the most important part of their trade – editing their stuff, honing it and honing it until it gets an edge like a bullfighter’s killing sword.”

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