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Below is a sponsored post about the qualities of great writers. While it talks about fiction writing, I believe the qualities apply to all other kinds of writing. I certainly aim for clarity, organization, and brevity when I write copy.
There have been many incredibly talented writers throughout history. Each one has possessed his or her own style that made them unique and memorable. However, as different as writers tend to be from one another in terms of their style and subject matter, there are some qualities that all great writers share. Knowing what these qualities are can help you to improve your own writing in the future. Here are some of the traits found in all outstanding writers throughout history.
1. The ability to clearly express ideas
Writing is all about communicating with the reader. If a writer is not able to do that, they are in a lot of trouble. The great writers have an uncanny ability to do this in a way that seems effortless as you read their prose. While descriptive language is great, you will find that the great writers often believe that less is more when it comes to their writing. Not getting bogged down with too many unnecessary details allows the reader to soak up the things that are important. There is such a thing as conveying too much information to the reader. Talented writers like Daniel Handler know how to maintain the delicate balance between too much and too little information, giving the reader just enough to propel the narrative forward.
Having the ability to write compelling prose means nothing if you do not also have the ability to structure it properly. This means laying out all of the information in a way that is both interesting and orderly. When the great authors reveal a key plot detail, it always has a purpose. Simply dropping in bits of information for no reason does nothing for the story. It also frustrates the reader at the same time. The most talented authors will lay out the complete structure of their novel before typing a single word. This allows them to see where they are going. It also gives them the ability to make any necessary adjustments.
3. No wasted writing
When you read a classic novel, you will never be left wondering why a certain passage was unnecessarily included. Handler and other great writers have a very tight style that gives you the information you need, while avoiding all of the filler content that is commonly written by lesser authors. Talented writers know how to give their audience just what they need to move the story forward and keep it compelling.
Do you agree with this list? What would you add?