On Writing

Today I decided to share some thoughts on a subject that interests me vastly, on writing. When I became a corporate executive, I remember at the start of my career, I was told that I had to forget all that I had been taught about writing. The demands of writing in the world of business were quite different from writing in literature or fiction, I was told. It took me some time to get used to the idea.Verbose words were out. Simplicity was the key and the idea was to get your message across in as effective a manner, in as few words as possible. In writing fiction, the rules change somewhat, depending on the genre in which you are writing in.

I have been writing thrillers ever since my debut novel “It Can’t Be You.” I like to think that my writing style hasn’t really changed all that much. I still make a conscious effort to write simple rather than complex words, to avoid age-old clichés and to use the active voice more than the passive one.

Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes says ” writing is a craft” in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. He explains why it’s not merely copying out the self-talk that you indulge in when you are writing a story.

I learnt only the other day that Microsoft Word has a feature which enables you to check your writing against different parameters, as in the Flesch- Kincaid scale. This, I believe, is a very useful tool. The Michigan Bar Journal has detailed information on how to use this and what the results mean. I ran some of my recent writing through this tool and the answers were quite illuminating. Try it out for yourself.


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