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How to choose your writing form and communicate your creative thoughts


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A short story is a fictional tale, which is written in a natural, narrative language. Short stories can in principle be about anything, and you can either base them on something real or realistic and depend on real figures, numbers and data. Say you want to write about the war in Syria. You can use the names of real cities, places, number of people killed, but you can at the same time make up a story about a family, which escapes the horrors of the war

Muscat: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

The Times of Oman's Literary and Poetry contest is up and running. For those who want to participate but have yet to come up with an idea and need tips for writing and structuring, we offer you a small training section running over the next couple of months. Today's article focuses on how to choose whether to write a poem, a short story or an essay.

Some use big words. Some use painting descriptions. Some like long, articulate sentences, while others prefer to keep it short and to the point.

All of these arts of writing have a time and a place, but it is not irrelevant what you choose in a certain matter. If you want to express a certain opinion and reach a certain audience, you must carefully think which genre to choose to communicate your thoughts.

When choosing your form, it is good to think about how you would like to reach your audience. Rhetoric in a literary context means a way to express yourself linguistically to communicate your thoughts to others. It contains three modes of persuasion:

--  Ethos: You show that you are a person of good moral values. You use words or style of argumentation, which sets a good example and will make people believe it because it is the right thing to do.

-- Pathos:
You play on emotions. Use emotionally loaded words and appeal to people's feelings.

-- Logos:
You use data, numbers and statistics to convince people. Your arguments are based on logic and you can prove the arguments you make in a scientific way.

When choosing what kind of style you wish to express yourself in, knowing these terms is fundamental. Usually, you will never just use one of them, but will most likely be emphasising on one of the three.

What makes good poem?
In principle, you can choose to write about anything in a poem. But opinions or thoughts that appeal to people's emotions — pathos — are usually best suited for a poem. If you want to make political statements, e.g. about taking better care of the environment, a poem is not where you come up with scientific evidence, but rather you talk about the dying whales or suffering of the Peninsula leopard. Poems are naturally well suited for expressing emotions or making picturesque descriptions.

Good short story
A short story is a fictional tale, which is written in a natural, narrative language. Short stories can in principle be about anything, and you can either base them on something real or realistic and depend on real figures, numbers and data (logos).

Say you want to write about the war in Syria. You can use the names of real cities, places, number of people killed, but you can at the same time make up a story about a family, which escapes the horrors of the war. You can, of course, also make your story completely fictional in a Harry Potter or Twilight style.

What makes a good essay?
An essay is generally a short piece of writing written from the writer's personal point of view, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of an article and a short story.

The content of the essay can be based on a personal experience, a political topic or a cultural theme. Because of the subjective nature of the essay, the topic is not fictional and you will usually have to appeal to the logic of your audience and use proof for your claims.

Making a choice
Keeping this advice in mind, the most important thing is that you choose a style with which you feel comfortable. Nothing good ever comes from dealing with things you are bored with, so if you have found a topic, just start writing in the style that appeals to you.

Want to take part in our Literary Contest? Click on the following link to find out more details:


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