Good writing can be difficult to teach because there’s no correct way to write. Obviously, you still need to make sense, watch your spelling and avoid rambling sentences that stretch into breathless paragraphs.
But you can approach the process of writing in two different ways:
- You can either edit as you go, polishing each sentence before moving onto the next one.
- Or you can write without stopping to think whether what you’re typing is actually any good.
It’s always interesting to see how other writers write. Fantasy novelist Joe Abercrombie, for example, favours the second option. As he points out on his blog:
“Words can be either good or bad, and a thousand words of crap are a lot less useful than a hundred of gold. Obsessively counting words could be said to encourage the production of crap. Although that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the alchemy of editing allows crap to be turned into gold later, and you’re a lot better off with a big pile of crap after a day’s work than you are with nothing, believe me.”
And that’s the key. Good content can start with bad content. Taking action and writing several hundred words in an hour is often a better writing tactic than spending an hour obsessing over creating a perfect paragraph. At least you’ll have words to work with.