Identifying good writing

Published on Sep 4, 2020

Elements of good craft are invisible to the reader. Reading should be easy and natural allowing the reader to dissolve in the process. That's the ultimate goal and the best indicator of good writing for me. Because I only at the beginning of my journey, the most challenging thing now is making a distinction between bad and good or good and great. But it's is subjective. Although there are objective grammar rules and principles, is there anything beyond that? Techniques that help to distinguish a good style from a mediocre one.

I want to develop that skill. Sometimes, when you like a text and ideas inside it, it takes no effort to say that it's good. Intuition and personal taste help to understand that. But what's good in particular, writing style or ideas that the author's conveying? "Liking" the text is not enough. How to apply elements that you like to improve your own writing? I want not only to say that a book or essay is well-written but understand all the "WHYs". I want to be able to give better feedback to writers who ask for it and make my texts better.

I see this as my main challenge now. Reading more is probably not enough. It must be a thoughtful reading together with critical thinking. Quality should go over quantity. I want to develop a set of techniques and principles, hacks and tips, that will help me to see all hidden gems. It should become one of the key elements of my craft and, like all techniques, become automatic and invisible in the process.