Writing Tip #2 :
Hang on to your first draft!
Most people’s first drafts are terrible. “Goodwriting is rewriting,” and you should make a serious effort at editing, rewriting, and fine-tuning beforeyou give the manuscript to anyone else to read. If you need to put a piece of writing away for a few daysbefore you can approach it dispassionately enough to rework it, do so. But the important thing is not to be demotivated by your lack of skill in writing or lack of ideas to write. Just jot down that first word then you are on your way to get a great article. Of course the first draft is not good maybe unreadable altogether but what the heck. This is what I want to do and I am going to do it. Be clear. Be firm. Be consistent.
The flow of process in the previous posting has given some hints on what the general framework is. The framework of a great research paper. It is important to develop your own unique style of writing. In the coming posting I will talk about the mood and the ambience that will trigger the flood of great ideas for your paper. But this is not a novel we are talking about; it is an academic work which is very straight forward and factual based writing. A remedy of a boring piece of work. Any one in academia would agree that reading a research paper is very hard to understand, and why is that? Is it because of the complex use of language and scientific terms? No, because the author sucks, that’s all. So it is vital to equip yourself with good writing skills—which anyone can acquire, be an English native or non-English. For us as English is the third or fourth language, learning to get the right skill is quite difficult but not impossible. Just keep at it and enjoy the process. You will get there eventually.
It is a common practice for some to think in Malay and translate that into English sentences. Thta is not going to go down very well with the editors or reviewers of your paper. During the translation process the words and the sentences tend to be twisted around to convey the message but at the same will intimidate the semantic as well as the syntactic value of the sentences. Think English and write English; there is no other way around it.Aahhh!! another obstacle, I can’t do it… it’s very hard. The secret of writing is in reading. So in order to write good you must also love reading. And in this case let it be English. Pick up a novel in English and let yourself be taken away by the stories and characters in that novel. Along the way you will learn how to say things in English as well as to keep your grammar fresh.
The first draft is always difficult but the many that follow will a piece of your mind, maybe your opinion or your suggestions. Isn’t it awesome to know that people will benefit from what you say and think? The experience is priceless and the next thing you wonder why you did not do this much much earlier? The time is right here and right now. Enjoy your writing experience.