A Moderate Writing Challenge for 2013

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 13th Feb 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

This challenge is open to any Wikinut writer who wishes to demonstrate improvements in their writing. It is sad to stagnate and find your articles only having a limited audience, it is better to grow, to learn, to improve your writing and let your ideas out in a constructive way.

Your Mission...

...if you decide to accept it is all about improving your writing over the course to the remaining months of this year; it is competition time.

As one of the site moderators I will start this challenge off with some personal comments. We see all manner of writing submitted on this site and it ranges from masterpieces to the darn right ugly. It is said that is Wikinut is anything it is a self-help community, thus I have been thinking about how we can turn this into a gesture by which every writer in this site is encouraged to grow and improve, the name of the game is twofold, firstly about how we improve with our use of the English language, and secondly the extent to which we are able to use the capabilities offered by Wikinut in order to make your writing more presentable.

There will be no prizes for this competition, (well that is no prize that equates directly to cash, I will be however looking at your submissions and asking a few well reputed writers on this site to be keeping an eye open for those writers that demonstrate great improvements in both areas, those that demonstrate improvements over the next few months will be highlighted through an article compendium and have links to samples of their work displayed for all to see.

Don't Start Polished

It does not matter how good or bad your writing is right at this time, what matters is how many improvements you make over the course of the coming months. Consider the areas in which you can make improvements, which include any of the following:

  • Spelling words correctly
  • Using appropriate words
  • Using words in the correct context
  • Correct use of plurals
  • Past, present, and future tense
  • Correct use of commas
  • Using apostrophes appropriately
  • Constructing powerful sentences
  • Creating powerful paragraphs
  • Building longer poems
  • Appropriate use use of highlights
  • Making white space between paragraphs
  • Use of pictures to empower sections
  • Creating articles with multiple sections
  • Publishing articles with appropriate levels of detail
  • Working with lists and numbered lists
  • Including appropriate video clips

Few writers can ever start with a polished masterpiece, but over time their contributions should always show great improvements in the technical aspects of writing, and if we are not improving then we should perhaps question why we do it because the truth is a badly constructed article will always remain just that and will not encourage readers to come and see more articles by that writer - make improvements and people will start to pay attention. I have my spreadsheet open and will be collecting those authors that show the greatest improvement in the coming months, the names that should appear on this list will be the new writers that have a willingness to improve, well established writers are less likely to appear, not because they do not improve, but because they already have powerful writing skills and the improvements are less visible.

The spreadsheet will allow me to capture a list of articles where authors have shown great improvements - such things as adding pictures where none had previously been used will ensure your presence in the list of noteworthy contributors. Make the list and links to your article will appear in a future compendium of improved contributors.

How Can I Improve?

Whilst writing and listening to those that moderate your work is one of the best ways to improve there are plenty of inexpensive courses that are available to help the writer improve, one that I recommend is "Building Great Sentences" by Professor Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa, which is available from The Great Courses, the book "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" by Lynne Truss also comes highly recommended.

Consider this - Although reasonably educated I would have to say that my schooling left me well short of the skills necessary to communicate in the English language and most of what I know today about writing and use of the English language has been acquired after I left school and has been self taught. I am currently working my way through Professor Landon's course and have felt myself grow in leaps and bounds since starting; it is one of my life goals to become a great communicator.

Become Polished

Truth is any person can write, all it takes is the ability to string a few words together, becoming polished takes time and effort, yet anyone can do it if they listen to the advice offered by others and are prepared to make changes to the contributions they make. The Internet is a great place for content, just simply think of the number of times you use it in order to find information about things you need, but of course it is let down by junk. This challenge is small way in which the writers on Wikinut can push back and feel that they have made a positive contribution, it is not about massive leaps, but small steps - ask you friends what they think about your articles today, and take their advice to heart - use it to improve then ask them again in a month and see how they think you have improved; I am confident you will grow in the meanwhile and grow again and again in the coming months.

Ask any of the moderators on Wikinut for advice and I am sure they will offer their opinions, most of my advice has been written down in the form of articles, that exist for all to see.

Using the Wikinut Eidtor

Part of the skill of writing is about the tools that you use. Compared to some sites the tools available on Wikinut may seem a little primitive, yet there are so many tools available on the site that can assist you in improving your writing, see the following:

About Telling a Story

Whether you are writing fact of fiction you will find that your readers want you to tell them a story, whether you intend to make them laugh or cry, or simply dazzle them with wonders, or perhaps have them vote a particular way then it is all about how the story is told. Every story has a beginning, a main body, and a conclusion. There is a school of thought that says we should introduce our subject by giving a teaser of what we are going to say, the body of the essay should develop each of the arguments that need to be uncovered, and the conclusion should guide the reader to a way of thinking and wrap up the crucial components of the story.

Generally speaking you should aim to:

  • Tell your own story,
  • Develop the arguments to their logical conclusion, and
  • Make it a memorable experience

It must be your own story, copying other people's work is likely to get you rejected, and even if there is a news item that acts as an inspiration for you to write then use the inspiration, but make sure that ultimately the story comes from you. Developing arguments to their logical conclusion demands thinking through the story you wish to tell - sometimes you have to go beyond "happily ever-after" and uncover details no-one else could ever show. If you make the item memorable then your readers will want more and will come back for more, next time around.

Eventually your work will fly into other people's imagination and that is the purpose of this challenge.

Wrtiting for Wikinut

Perhaps you have chanced on this page and are interested in being a part of this competition, well you can make your own personal contribution by Joining Wikinut and becoming a part of this great community and have some fun telling the world about your favourite things. Write what you like! Join Wikinut, then post your masterpiece and Wikinut will publish it for you, it can be that simple. Wikinut is regarded as the best on-line site for budding writers and this competition is one of the reasons why we can help budding writers develop.

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
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author avatar Val Mills
14th Feb 2013 (#)

Wonderful challenge Peter. I shall certainly make use of your tips, especially the check list of ways to improve. I look forward to following how this challenge proceeds. Hmmm .... still deciding which of the many areas I'll focus on first!

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author avatar Retired
14th Feb 2013 (#)

Wonderful challenge ....

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author avatar M G Singh
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Peter, this is wonderful. I loved this article

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Really great idea Peter and terrific for writers to concentrate on now with it being winter and all.
You have made some great points and I hope many can take up your challenge. My self I know I could use some improving too, but right now lacking of time.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Very helpful information. As a new writer here I will make good use of it.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Feb 2013 (#)

We need to improve step by step; otherwise we just go around in circles. Thanks for the tips Peter, but nothing comes easy! siva

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author avatar Buzz
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks, Peter. I profit from these tips.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks Peter,
We will take up the challenge and derive profits..

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author avatar Ptrikha
18th Feb 2013 (#)

Hi Peter, if I post an article and ask for your personal,unbiased review, would you provide me?
This way I can think of ways to improve upon my writing.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
18th Feb 2013 (#)

I am always willing to give you my opinion in a private message, but please remember that any views that I give will always just be a personal opinion and may differ from the opinion of another.

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author avatar Ptrikha
21st Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks a lot Peter. Have a nice day ahead.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
18th Feb 2013 (#)

thanks Peter, a very helpful guide...

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author avatar Susan Jane
20th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks Peter for issuing this challenge and for the helpful links you have provided. As a new Wikinut and want to produce quality content that gains a following.

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author avatar Bethany Dean
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

What a great article! I'll be referring back. Thanks!

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author avatar Mariah
9th Apr 2013 (#)

Very Glad I read this
I will strive to apply the adviice and guidance as I go
along, and will refer back to this article often

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
9th Apr 2013 (#)

Mariah, you are very welcome.

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author avatar Edith
24th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Peter for the challenge and guidance. This will help me a lot to improve on my writing.

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author avatar MMD
6th Aug 2013 (#)

One of the great article in wikinut. You had explained almost everything which the beginners needs to know.

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