Reading & Writing Are Complementary Skills
Yet they are rarely considered together
Writing involves a lot of hard work comprising of many steps- Write, Read & Edit. We write to communicate a message at a later point in time. How to write in such a way that the reader is completely engaged and hence reads all that we have written? This a question that is often not considered by students. For multiple reasons writing is a chore. Could that be on account of grades or the fear of judgement?
Avid readers on an average tend to be better writers than those who hardly read outside of their school curriculums. The former tend to pay more attention to detail. They understand the importance of choice of words, concise writing styles and vivid descriptions for impact. Even among the avid readers, there are differences in proficiency. Perhaps this is influenced by the kind of books they read. Students who love reading fiction tend to write better fiction. Whereas those who prefer non-fiction tend to write that better.
Avid readers understand the importance of choice of words, concise writing styles and vivid descriptions for impact.
How to get better at writing something that one is not very good at, yet?
A good starting point is to read and observe well written work across genres in fiction as well as non-fiction to gauge different approaches and zero in on an approach that is appealing enough. At times, doing this alone can be daunting. For instance for someone who has a more scientific bend of mind, it may be difficult to get through a realistic story filled with emotions. However, when read together as a group, it seems less daunting and what's more there is room to discover new perspectives too.
Reading to make connections and observe a variety of writing styles
At the Young Writers' Club, we recently embarked upon a journey to discover stories from across the world that appear in the news. We read select articles that show how connections can be made between matters that seem fairly unrelated on the surface. For instance this week, for group discussion, we contemplated about the connection between the sport, Parkour, light pollution, energy conservation and the Russian Ukraine conflict.
As we raised questions, thought of possible solutions for the problem showcased in the article, we also made observations about the writing style. How does the writer start the article? Does he explain the term Parkour or does he assume that the reader will know?
Is there repetition or is the article to the point? Does he think of various aspects that could answer the innumerable questions that keep coming to us as we discuss this issue? Discussions of this sort help writers to observe different writing styles and be conscious of pitfalls while writing something of their own.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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