What do you like most about your writing?
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I try to be genuine with my writing, and I put a lot of effort into writing the same way I talk.
It would be rare for me to say “I will be there” but rather, I’d say “I’ll be there”.
Contractions form a vital role in the way I speak and, therefore, by default, the way I write. I do try to not use them but then, when I’m proofreading my written word, I believe I sound disingenuous – almost as if I’m pretending to be someone I’m not.
The only time contractions go out the window is when I’m wanting to make a point.
Just to provide an example, when I write I have as opposed to I’ve, what I really want my audience to read is I have.
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I’m honest, pretty much to the point of being overly so. I find it difficult to ‘spin a yarn’, and yet, with a lot of practice, I have learnt how to embellish the truth – how to make a good story great by adding a bit of fluff.
One of my dearest friends in Toastmasters told me (actually, he tells everyone) “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”, and so, it is in Toastmasters where I’ve learnt this skill.
Like the one that got away and grew in size with every telling of the tale, it’s ok to blow everything out of proportion and make it into a bigger, better, brighter tale. It’s ok to do to your story, what movie producers do to novels – exaggerate, exaggerate, and then . . .
. . . exaggerate some more.
Again, here’s an example.
The following sentence (to me anyway) seems dull and uninteresting:
We waited for the tour bus out the front of our hotel.
With a little thought, and a few descriptive words, the same sentence became:
As we stood waiting at the front of our hotel, a magnificent beast appeared on the horizon. Aerodynamically designed, all shiny, sleek and sexy. As the vehicle got closer, our hearts pounded in anticipation of journeying to Middle Earth aboard this beautiful black beast.
Another example: Put the tray in the oven.
Or: Like a rush of hot air from a blast furnace, feel the explosion of heat on your face and neck as you open the oven door and slide the tray inside.
And again: I remember crying a lot when I was six.
I do remember crying a lot when I was six, but this is how I put it into words.
I still remember salty water constantly dripped from my chin, as I came to terms with my young life in a state of utter flux.
I don’t always have the ability to embellish on the fly, but I do enjoy adding sparkle to the words I write – whether that be in an informative blog post, or a Toastmasters speech.
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Finally, almost everything I write comes from the heart and the best example I have to support that statement is (again) a written assignment I did for Toastmasters.
In my post What Toastmasters Taught Me About Myself, I plucked a painful incident from my past and examined how another person’s actions influenced my life. This story was honest, brutally honest, and it was raw and writing it dragged to the surface distressing memories that had me sobbing over the sincerity of my sentences.
That post is one of the hardest things I’ve ever written. The other is my post The Pain of Telling Lies. (I apologise for the shameless self-promotion.)
I guess all of this adds up to a writer wannabe who would dearly love more time to write.
One day I hope. Perhaps when I’m retired.
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