Join our newsletter for South-Asian book recos by age & to get free creative tools

The air’s getting a bit nippy, fall in its glory has finally arrived in Austin and Dehradun. So, with the upcoming holidays and seasonality, we hope you’re joining us in our reading adventures. There is no set formula to being a storyteller or a writer. But we remember books or stories that emotionally impact us. To create something of value, great writers recommend a few tips. So, if you’re in your creative mode with kids this holiday season, follow these ideas.

Whether it’s for your kids or yourself, join is for our storytelling events near you and find your inner creative energy.

5 traits of great writers that you can learn from!

1. Great writers are also great readers and listeners

Writers and storytellers need inspiration. These include real life anecdotes, information snippets, interesting factoids and for more ambitious work very detailed knowledge about a field. Reading is essential. So is the ability to listen to people because the best stories always come from real people you come across at work, in life. Surely Nehru could not have written any of those voluminous works set in the Indian subcontinent if he himself had not studied the history in great detail.

2. Great writers can visualize everything

Any piece of great writing is able to show the scene, it does not just tell. To describe anything vividly, the author must be able to observe and visualize. A good writer must have a powerful imagination and should be able to see the entire story unfurl in front of her own eyes before presenting it to her readers. That is how Ruskin Bond made everyone see the hills of Mussoorie and that is how Kipling made the jungles of central India come alive.

3. Great writers empathize

One of the winning characteristics of great writing is that they make us feel for the characters. As we read, we connect with the characters and it gets deeper as we move forward. We feel their pain as well as their happiness. If writing cannot make the reader invest emotionally in it, it can never succeed in retaining them. So, a great writer must be able to arouse empathy toward her main characters in the minds of the readers. She may use different tactics to achieve it but in the end she must succeed in harnessing their feelings. What would Ashima Ganguly mean, if you didn’t feel her feelings under your skin?

4. Great writers can flesh out from bare minimum

Every story starts from the seed of a basic idea. That idea has to be nurtured, enhanced and fleshed out to get the complete story. A good writer knows how to do it. She might draw from other sources or add something extra from her own experience and interactions, but eventually she will create something that is unique and worth reading.

5. Great writers are also merciless editors

Every piece of writing goes through some editing. Often through a separate editor. But even before it reaches there, the writer must be able to work on it herself. A great writer also knows when to stop, when to exercise restraint and when to unleash oneself. She must not be too attached to her own work. If she thinks something is not working, she should be able to edit parts without feeling too invested. 

Which other traits do you see in great writers? What inspires you to write the most wonderfully engaging stories? Do share your inspirations with us!