You could have a good story, maybe even a great story, but if you don’t serve it with the proper, good, vocabulary and grammar, than it becomes diminished. Imagine if I went to a restaurant and ordered the best, most expensive dish on the menu. It comes to my table steaming hot and looking delicious; but the only problem is that they served it to me on an old chipped plate, and all of my utensils are dirty. I would maye still enjoy the food itself, but my enjoyment would definitely be hampered by the fact that I would be totally grossed out by the dirty plate and cutlery. So, as talented writers our job is not only to give a good, hearty literary meal, but present it with polished and gleaming writing.
So what does that entail? What is “gleaming writing”? As mentioned before, if you have a great idea but no way to execute it, it will distract and exasperate the reader. So here are some things to watch for:
- Grammar and organization: are your sentences all proper sentences? Are you using sentence organization properly? How about your story as a whole? Does it flow smoothly, is the plot cohesive?
- Word choice: think about your audience; will they enjoy the words you are using? Can you be more descriptive? If you have too many general or weak adjectives, consider investing in a thesaurus.
- Voice: who is speaking? Is it clear? Is there a narrator? How about the setting? Is that explained sufficiently?
So all of that to say, in what shape is your fine china? Maybe you need some polish or quick wipe-down, so I offer you this suggestion: go sign up for a writing contest! There are hundreds every month, and they’re a really good way to get yourself out there and get motivated!