Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Friday, November 11, 2005


There is an old saying: You can choose your friends but not your family. Everyone has certain choices to make in their lives, except for that one initial launch into this world. We are born and we are who we are - no decision on our part - not even the chance at some suggestions.

Your entire being - the color of your skin, your grandparents’ homeland, your entire genetic make-up is right there - and now you have a choice - you can do what you believe you can, or you can carry your sense of pride or shame with you your entire life and never reach the goals and reap the benefits you could have.

Writing is a career where the choices from the very beginning are yours. In a sense, you create your character, give him all his genetic qualities, and then even write the history for his ancestry. You are in control of who, what, where, and when. However, as with any choice, there are drawbacks as well as advantages. If your character is not a member of your particular ethnic, religious, or race group, your ability to relate and to transmit ideas run into a brick wall, so to speak. Sure, you can put yourself in their place, but it would be according to your standards, and your beliefs. This ingrained system of standards and beliefs were taught to you by your parents, relatives, environment. and the world itself. Now that you have decided to write, how do you overcome this stumbling block?

The literary piece you give birth to should be as factual as possible, even though it is a fictional piece. If you feel you can, just in your own mind, place yourself in someone else’s soul, forget it. You can’t because the only person you can reach intoand enter their very being is yourself. Now what do you do? The answer is reach out, network, and include everything in your research work. Listen to both sides of the coin, and if you don’t agree, the notion to state your carved in stone moral or otherwise statements are irrelevant. Your reader needs to place themselves in your character’s heart and see the world through his/her eyes. A slight remark made to one person may be a monumental insult to an individual of another genre. Don’t judge, or build up or belittle the circumstances. State them exactly, as best you can, from that literary person’s inherited background and make-up.

Don’t ever feel that you will be able to disseminate exactly what it feels like to be someone else. We all have trouble just trying to be ourselves. However, with your character, you will have to step back and let what is the truth come forward. Then you can create the situations, the plots, and the reactions.

Every group of human beings have their particular quirks, beliefs, and moral systems. Try not to place one group’s issues and relate them through your own eyes.

Every great literary masterpiece gave credibility to their characters through writing about them as they are. Write about their individuality, their values, and their history. Give them the opportunity to voice their contradictions and their acknowledgements. Let them be themselves and you will be on your way to a masterpiece that the entire world will cherish.

Trace historical aspects for your character and take into account the evolving changes to his/her particular heritage. Check items such as foods, livelihoods, and statistics. Once you have a volume of information, you will have the grounds for a great novel or article. As writers, we are so tempted to always give our opinions, our views. You are creating this character and your story’s success will be on who he/she is. Readers will agree or disagree with your character but they will learn to respect and value his/her reactions, and choices. They will, in turn, take into account the circumstances that brought your character to this particular point in life. The most enduring characters are those that are real, life-like, and not clones of the writer. Give your characters room to breathe, and be themselves.

I believe God does not need help in creating people. He gives writers the fertile ground of diversity and the ability to relate to readers. Give your readers reliability, authenticity, and an opportunity to decide for themselves, and you are on your way to successful writing.

©Arleen M. Kaptur

Author of numerous articles, e-cookbooks,on-line workshops. Novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES Website:


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