Why Write? Part Five

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here: Scroll down to the beginning, ‘Why Write?’

With each publication in this series, I will be giving you assignments to do and ask you to return these to me for editing. This way you send in your effort, which I call a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ In doing this, you end up with a comparison.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the other assignments to us for correction, in addition to this one.

By now you wrote out a list of fifty topics and from this list, chose seven of these and then wrote for twenty-four minutes on each of the seven topics – that’s a whole 2100 (approximately) words on topics chosen by you; well done, I am impressed!

With the exercises in the previous five parts, this should have brought you to a place where you are gaining confidence in your ability to write, what I will call, short topical articles.

If you achieved 2100 words, this means that you are geared for our next step:

This next step will be an essay.

An essay consists of say generally, three paragraphs of 100 to 200 words per paragraph. Why three paragraphs?

  • First – Introduction.
  • Second – Core or centerpiece of the essay.
  • Third – The conclusion.

Now, this brings me to an important point. Writing is not a perfect science. What I mean, is that there are no hard and fast rules that you have to stick by. However, there is wisdom in considering the counsel of those who have experience. Your essay could have more paragraphs than just three or the paragraph could be longer or shorter. Going forward we will discuss layout, paragraphs and such when we deal with the ‘technicalities of writing.’ The above figures would serve as a guideline only. 

Quite often you will find that in putting any story together, quite naturally you will find it follows the path of beginning, middle and end, this is largely how most events in life take place. I will give you a very short example:

Roy Black had often gazed up at the hill across the meadow behind his house. He wondered what the view was like once one stood on the hill top.

One Sunday morning early, Roy decided to climb the hill. He set out, braving a disused trail overrun with bush and thorns and after what seemed a very long and tiring journey, he reached the top of the hill. He sat on a large piece of granite and gathered his strength. The view was breath taking; it seemed like he could see forever. A gentle breeze fragranced by the damp veld cooled him. Oh, this was so worthwhile, I am richer for having made this trip. He thought.

Often, in the early morning and sometimes early evening, Roy would sit on the veranda at the back of his house and look up wistfully at the hill top. Hiking to the top of the hill and drinking in the countryside below me was certainly worth every tough step of the way. Why did I wait so long to make that journey?

Here is a very compressed 179-word script describing a man’s desire and curiosity, (introduction) in paragraph one. The second paragraph describes (body of his story), his decision to take a trip up a hill and enjoy a surprise view and bush fragrance. He declares that he is richer for the experience. The third paragraph, (conclusion) describes how Roy looks back on his experience in wonder.

I think you have grasped the idea, right?

As your creative gift hits top gear, you could take the above script and turn it into a 10,000-word short story. I know, because I have done something similar several times!

Since you are geared up, lets discuss your assignment for next time.

Try writing an essay on any topic, using the introduction, core of story and conclusion, system. Let’s say anywhere between 1000 and 1500 words.

Send your submission to: whywritefun@gmail.com I will return correction to you.

A caveat (warning). The sequence described here is important, because it is designed to release your creativity and build your confidence – so don’t cheat (on yourself)!

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