5 Traits of Great Writers That You Can Learn From!

The air’s getting a bit nippy, October in its glory has finally arrived. We thought, a great start to the month could be by sharing some awesome inspiration with you all. So, at the start of the new month, we share the traits of great writers that you can learn from! Sure, there is no formula to being a great storyteller or a writer. What is defined as greats can be chalk and cheese in terms of approach. Yet, for the sake of objectivity, we are trying to list traits that will help everyone. Stories about products, business opportunities can range from 140 characters on Twitter to a 1000 word essay on a blog. As a Startup, small business or a brand head, you need to be more than just ordinary. This will help you reflect on what it takes!

5 Traits of Great Writers That You Can Learn From! Brandanew

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 Umberto Eco could not have written any of those voluminous works set in medieval era 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 Marquez made everyone see the Colombia of a bygone era 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 towards 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. Oliver Twist or Robinson Crusoe would not be considered great if we did not feel for the plight of those characters.

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 Traits of Great Writers That You Can Learn From Brandanew

5. Great writers are also merciless editors

Every piece of writing goes through some editing. Maybe even 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, he 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 for your brand and products? Do share your inspirations with us!

Enakshi Sharma

Digital Storyteller at Brandanew
Enakshi is a storyteller, curator (India Art Fair, 2015), anchor (May Queen, 2015), research associate (Centre for Civil Society, India), a travel writer and a blogger. She's a Digital Storyteller for Brandanew.