Writing A-Z: I is For Inquisitive and Idiom
Good writers are inquisitive! We need to explore the world around us; ask questions about human behavior; learn as much as we can about as much as we can! How else can we write well on a variety of topics to diverse audience? We need to be able to “talk the talk” of our audience.
That’s not to say our audience is everyone! But it is to say that the more knowledge we have about the the world around us; the more informed we are about current events; the more subjects we are versed in, the broader our audience will be.
Good writers need to be good readers, as well! Reading other’s writing affords us a different perspective and a varied way of using language. Exposing ourselves to the writing of other authors, helps us expand our awareness!
Inquisitive writers want to know the “back story” of a character. They are people watchers. They take notice of what people do and how, and with whom. But we also can “ask the next question” as our story unfolds. In my recent room on Clubhouse, I recited a couple of scenarios and the ensuing questions we might ask to explore our characters and allow our story to develop. You can listen to the replay HERE.
Idiom is defined as words or phrases that aren’t meant to be taken literally. An example is the well-understood phrases “bite the bullet” or “kick the bucket.” These can be a help or a hinderance! Keep in mind that an idiom familiar to us may not make sense to someone from a different geographical region, nationality, race or even educational level.
If we think about the possibility that our writing could be translated into other languages, we might be more cautious with the use of idioms. Although, we can certainly provide a definition, context, explanation of the idiom the first time we use it. That affords the reader an understanding of your writing and also exposes them to another perspective! It also adds a bit of “color” to our story.
Idioms can also spur inquisitiveness in our readers! Wanting to understand the context and background of the idioms can offer the reader an opportunity to be explore other points of view and perspectives. They create interest and depth in our stories.
The bottom line is that inquisitive writers ask questions in our writing — who, what, where, when, how all become even more important than simply an editorial tool — they can become the source of richer, better developed and more nuanced writing and character development.
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