Friday, April 08, 2011

Writing is not a magic, you need to practice it [Stewart Ross]

BIS has been fortunate to have an award winning author, Stewart Ross again to celebrate Book Week program this year. Stewart has visited BIS couple years ago and he dedicated his recent book called 'Boudicca, guilty or innocent?' to all pupils and staff at The British International School, Jakarta.

Stewart has been scheduled to talk and give writing workshops to students at BIS. He shared his writing experiences. I found his session very entertaining with spontaneous interactive with students, yet lot of tips and information we got during the session.
There are five elements in a good writing piece:
1. Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
2. Clear: if you doubt it, cross it out, keep it short,keep the readers interested in
3. Colourful: be creative, imagine that you are a camera that focusing and zooming in the object, getting closer and give more details in writing
4. Original
5. Varied

Reading and researching are two preliminary things he does in a week before writing. Stewart would spend about a week for writing and would produce 1000 words a day.

However, he spent three years time for producing a complicated book like his recent non fiction book, called Into the Unknown. So in general, Stewart would spend between three weeks to three years in completing his writing, depends on the type and difficulty a book is.

Once a piece of writing finishes, he would read it himself in three times, then he would pass it to his daughter to read it and other people as well for any feedbacks. Make sure you give it to the person who will give you their honest opinon, not just a simple good encouragement words.

Today I've learnt alot from Stewart's experience in creative writing. Having had Stewart sit on my office chair for his pizza lunch, I hope his writing skills and his speaking talent would be contagious :)