Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good vs. Great Writing

If you read my previous post, you may have noticed that I referred to a book called "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence. T.E. Lawrence is more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia. I recently started to read Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and I was immediately struck by the excellent writing that Lawrence exhibits.

I am feeling inspired by this masterwork, and I am trying to analyze what constitutes great writing. I think that good writing is clean, concise and communicative. Great writing takes good writing to another level. Great writing often exhibits exceptional use of uncommon words that communicate with more vigor and precision than more common words. Great writing also uses simile and metaphor to engage the reader's imagination. Attempting great writing can be perilous for a writer, because these more advanced techniques tend to have the opposite of their intended effect if they are not executed properly.

My goal as a writer is to continuously improve my craft. My specific goal for the second book is to make it better than the first--especially in the area of the writing (considered distinctly from the quality of the story, which I expect to be at least comparable to that of the first book).

I will post some impressions of Seven Pillars of Wisdom once I complete it. If you don't know much about Lawrence of Arabia, it's worth a quick read of the Wiki page, at the very least. He is one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century.

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