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Enjoy Regular Practice
This is how it's done. Let's look at a passage from a writing
student's poem about a city girl sitting on a wild, isolated cliff:
Yet as I lay there
A feeling of tranquility
Unnoticed at first, but
Slowly gaining in strength
Was infused into my being by
The strange lullaby of waves attacking
The merciless rocks.
Now, let's apply what we have learned so far in our writing lessons. Let's worry it. Read again, slowly.
1. 'As I lay there...' - This is a good active use of an otherwise inactive transitive verb. In this instance, the message is very clear, very strong.
2. 'A feeling...' - It is always better to describe the feeling or the sensation in powerful words expressing your own perception, rather than call it 'a feeling'.
3. 'Tranquility...' - Here we raise the red flag with regard to the use of an abstract noun. Consider the reader's sensitivities before you declare this final.
4. 'Gaining...' - Think of the use of an -ing verb or the same one directly in the past tense. Could you use 'gained'? Could you not? It's the writer's choice.
5. 'Strength...' - This word is quite strong for an abstract noun. However, do you really mean 'strength'? Perhaps you meant 'intensity', not 'strength'.
6. 'Was infused...' - Another red flag here, for the passive. Try rewording this.
7. 'My being...' - This is an unsuitable use of an abstract noun, when you are actually referring to your person. You should make it more precise, by using a concrete noun denoting your whole body, or a part of it, say mind or heart.
8. 'Lullaby...' - This is a good use of a common noun, even inspiring calm and tranquility, as we read.
9. 'waves...' - Another common noun that comes to qualify the lullaby. Can you 'hear' the lullaby now? Could you 'hear' it before you read 'of waves'?
10. 'attacking' - A verb finishing in -ing - do you mean the 'state of attacking' or do you mean the continuous action. It may be all right, but watch it carefully.
11. 'rocks' - This is as concrete as it can get, and a good sound at the end of the poem. Can you hear it's 'plonck'-like end sound?
I lay there.
Now, how much stronger do you find this new version, after the author reviewed the points above?
There is more clarity, although the text can be worked further still. We shall consider such kind of further work, after we'll have discussed the Adjective.
As we shall see later, meaning is not the only aspect that makes for magic in a piece of writing, whether verse or prose. There is also the sound and rhythm of the words, but... everything in its good timing.
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Here we shall build some lessons to help you improve your writing skills.
Lots of lessons: cause & effect, comparisons, linking signals, relative clauses, presenting information, expressing emotions and grammar games, of course. We had more lessons on: intensifying adverbs and phrasal verbs, expressing various concepts such as addition, exception, restriction and ambiguity. Lately we started some exercises: likes/dislikes, frequency adverbs (twice), verb tenses, etc.
Learn how to build a website, by using the SBI! system - start from the basics, developing a site concept and a niche, supply and demand, learn about profitability and monetization, payment processing, register domain, website structure and content as a pyramid. Also learn about the tools I'm using to build this website. We also covered how to build traffic, working with search engines, building a good system of inbound links, using social marketing and blogs with the SBI system, how to use Socialize It and Form Build It, how to publish an e-zine and how to build a social network in your niche.
We looked at a few games by now: Countable & uncountable nouns, Free Rice, Name That Thing, Spell It, Spelloween, the Phrasal Verbs Game, Preposition Desert, The Sentence Game, Word Confusion, Word Wangling, Buzzing Bees, and The Verb Viper Game.
Be prepared to play and learn more pretty soon.