Notes on Good Writing  Thoughts from ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King                Brought to you by:                 Vishal...
Writing Is Magic… Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting  laid, or making friends. In th...
The Writer’s ToolboxTool #1 – Vocabulary•The most common of all writing tools...the bread of writing• Put vocabulary on th...
The Writer’s ToolboxTool #2 – Grammar• If you don’t know grammar, it’s too late!• Bad grammar produces bad sentences.• The...
Noun and VerbTake any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence.• Rocks explode.• Mountains float.…these are per...
VerbVerbs come in two types, active and passive.1. With an active verb, the subject of the sentence is doing something.   ...
AdverbAdverbs are words that modify verbs. They’re the ones that usually end in‘-ly’. As in…•   Firmly•   Totally•   Compl...
The Writer’s Toolbox                        (Contd.)Lift out the top layer of your toolbox – your vocabulary and all the g...
The Writer’s Toolbox    (Contd.)            Vocabulary                +             Grammar                +         Eleme...
If you want to be a good writer……you must do three things above all others –1. Read a lot2. Think a lot3. Write a lotThere...
ReadWe read to…1. Experience the mediocre and the outstanding rotten. Such experience    helps us to recognize those thing...
Read       (Contd.)The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with   the process of writing.Co...
Writing…is like sleepingIn both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time    we are encouragi...
Good Writing = Good DescriptionGood writing is good description, which begins with visualization of what it  is you want t...
“You must not come lightly to the blank page.”                 – Stephen King                             www.copywriterin...
Happy Writing!If you believe reading this e-book and the learning containedin it have been worth your time and energy, kin...
Thanks again for signing up for ‘A Writer’s Diary’! Provided you like what you see, just mention the e-letter to    any fr...
About ‘Copywriter In India’Copywriter In India is a web copywriting company, with expertise in:1. Direct Response Copywrit...
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Notes on good writing

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This 18 page e-book contains what I can easily call the most important guidelines for anyone wanting to become a writer or copywriter. It is a compilation of my learning from the book called ‘On Writing’ by author Stephen King. I would suggest you buy King’s book. But till then, you can soak in the learning that I’ve had from reading the literary genius’s work.

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Notes on good writing

  1. 1. Notes on Good Writing Thoughts from ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King Brought to you by: Vishal Khandelwal Founder & Copywriter Copywriter In India | www.copywriterinindia.com © Copywriter In India
  2. 2. Writing Is Magic… Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  3. 3. The Writer’s ToolboxTool #1 – Vocabulary•The most common of all writing tools...the bread of writing• Put vocabulary on the top shelf of your toolbox, and don’t make any conscious effort to improve it.• One of the really bad things you can do to your writing – Dressing up the vocabulary…looking for long words•The most basic rule of vocabulary – Use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colourful… Never use “emolument” when you can use “tip” “It ain’t how much you’ve got, it’s how you use it.” www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  4. 4. The Writer’s ToolboxTool #2 – Grammar• If you don’t know grammar, it’s too late!• Bad grammar produces bad sentences.• The most basic rule of vocabulary – Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs.A sentence is, by definition, a group of words containing a subject(noun) and a predicate (verb); these strings of words begin with acapital letter, end with a period, and combine to make a complete thought which starts in the writer’s head and then leaps to the reader’s. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  5. 5. Noun and VerbTake any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence.• Rocks explode.• Mountains float.…these are perfect sentences. Grammar is the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  6. 6. VerbVerbs come in two types, active and passive.1. With an active verb, the subject of the sentence is doing something. “My first visit to the US will always be remembered by me.”2. With a passive verb, something is being done to the subject of the sentence. “I shall always remember my first visit to the US.”Avoid the passive verb/tense/voice. Use the active voice – More direct and vigorous than the passive. An active voice makes the sentence shorter, and stronger. Remember – “Brevity is the by-product of vigour.” www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  7. 7. AdverbAdverbs are words that modify verbs. They’re the ones that usually end in‘-ly’. As in…• Firmly• Totally• CompletelyLike with the passive voice through which the writer usually expresses fear of not being taken seriously, with adverb, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly.“Firmly”, an adverb, is an extra word in – “He closed the door firmly.” The adverb is not your friend. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  8. 8. The Writer’s Toolbox (Contd.)Lift out the top layer of your toolbox – your vocabulary and all the grammar stuff.On the layer beneath is…. ‘The Elements of Style’ – by Strunk & White www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  9. 9. The Writer’s Toolbox (Contd.) Vocabulary + Grammar + Elements of Style www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  10. 10. If you want to be a good writer……you must do three things above all others –1. Read a lot2. Think a lot3. Write a lotThere’s no way around these three things, no shortcut. Remember, the scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better. “Most men would rather die then think. Many do.” – Bertrand Russell www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  11. 11. ReadWe read to…1. Experience the mediocre and the outstanding rotten. Such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep up in our own work, and to steer clear of them.2. Measure ourselves against the good and the great, to get a sense of all that can be done. And we read in order to experience different styles.Being swept away by a combination of great story and great writing is part of every writer’s necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  12. 12. Read (Contd.)The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing.Constant reading will pull you into a place where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness. It also offers you a constantly growing knowledge of… • What has been done and what hasn’t • What is trite and what is fresh • What works and what just lies there dying (or dead) on the pageThe more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  13. 13. Writing…is like sleepingIn both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives. And as your body grow accustomed to a certain amount of sleep each night, so can you train your waking mind to sleep creatively and work out the vividly imagined waking thoughts into successful writing. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  14. 14. Good Writing = Good DescriptionGood writing is good description, which begins with visualization of what it is you want the reader to experience. It ends with your translating what you see in your mind into words on the page.If you want to be a good writer, you must be able to able to describe it, and in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition.The key to good description begins with clear seeing and ends with clear writing. Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s. www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  15. 15. “You must not come lightly to the blank page.” – Stephen King www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  16. 16. Happy Writing!If you believe reading this e-book and the learning containedin it have been worth your time and energy, kindly forward thisto your friends and colleagues who might also benefit from it.You can share your feedback and comments on this e-book bywriting to me at: vishal@copywriterinindia.com www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  17. 17. Thanks again for signing up for ‘A Writer’s Diary’! Provided you like what you see, just mention the e-letter to any friends and colleagues you think might benefit. Of course, as you know, the e-letter is free. And you can eithersend people to the website URL (www.copywriterinindia.com) or simply forward them this link to sign up for ‘A Writer’s Diary’… http://www.copywriterinindia.com/writers-diary/ www.copywriterinindia.com | 2011
  18. 18. About ‘Copywriter In India’Copywriter In India is a web copywriting company, with expertise in:1. Direct Response Copywriting2. Content Writing3. Copywriting & Writing CoachingIn short, if you want…1. Effective communication with your prospective and existing clients2. Best quality content for your website or newsletter3. Better writers…Copywriter In India can help you immensely!Visit us at – www.copywriterinindia.comSend in your queries & feedback to – vishal@copywriterinindia.com

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