Writing tips

WHAT I TAUGHT MY YOUNG FRIEND ABOUT WRITING

Over the weekend I sat with my young friend. Every time she came around, she always came with tonnes of questions for me.

She is always hungry for knowledge.

I made out time for her and when she was ready, she came with a notebook and pen and took her place next to me on the double seat sofa chair.

Questions flowed out of her lips and I talked until I felt like virtue had left me. One of the questions she asked was about writing, I do I become better at writing?

“HOW DO I BECOME BETTER AT WRITING?”

I looked at my young friend and responded, “WRITE LIKE YOU TALK”.

But that wasn’t it. 
Here is what I told her.

TELL STORIES

People often think they do not have stories to write about but that is rarely the case. You have a lot of stories but there are two things limiting you, you are either scared of telling your story or you think you do not know how to write.

Whatever the case maybe there is a lot you can write about. I told my young friend every time you meet a client, chronicle your moments with them in a written piece and share it on your platforms.

She was also worried she wouldn’t be able to grab attention with her writing. To help her with that fear, I gave an example.

Imagine you read the story of a beautiful lady who stole everybody’s attention the moment she stepped into a hall.

The first author narrated the scene like this;

“While the audience waited for the event to begin, we noticed a sleek, black car pulls up by the entrance. A young man dressed in a black suit appeared and opened the door, a beautifully dressed lady stepped out of the car and walked elegantly into the hall.”

Another author narrated the same experience quite differently,

“Within minutes the hall filled up with young men and ladies eagerly waiting for the special guest to come. Soon a sleek, black Mercedes Benz Maybach S-Class Sedan, 2019 model pulled up just by the entrance of the hall.

The car had hardly stopped when a hefty guy, dressed in a black suit appeared by the door on the “owners’ corner” his left hand holding the handle waiting to open the door, maybe when he gets a sign.

Nearly a minute after the car stopped, the hefty young man pulled the handle and held the door for the special guest. 
The MC had announced the presence of the much-awaited special guest just as the car pulled up by the entrance.

As she slowly stepped out of the car, my eyes caught her shoes first. They were a pair of golden Christian Dior high-heeled shoes. 
Hardly had I taken my eyes off her shoes when the whole figure appeared.

O my goodness, she is a goddess. I gasped.

She was wearing a beautiful, fitted, red overflowing gown. She looked elegant in her outfit as though she was born with them.

Her hair was neatly packed, dark, and shiny. She used minimal jewelry, a perfect compliment for her outfit and in her left hand, she clutched a golden Chanel clutch bag.

As she walked down the aisle, one step in front of the other like a model on the runway, the hall stood still, I thought she must have enchanted every single soul in that hall that day. Simple words didn’t seem enough to describe her.”

Then I asked her, “which narrative did you enjoy the most”?

“The second of course,” she responded.

That is what your story should do.

When you tell a story, capture the details, expand the narrative (add pepper and salt). Stop writing like somebody put a gun to your head and forced you to write.

I also told my young friend, when you write, write for one person. Yes, have one person in mind that you are writing to.

THREE THINGS I TAUGHT MY YOUNG FRIEND

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Sam Onaivi
Sam Onaivi is a writer and editor. Lock me up in a room with assorted biscuits, coffee, and a laptop and I will write my heart out.

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