English Language > Creative Writing > Narrative Writing
Writing for effect
Don’t forget to use your usual toolkit of effective writing techniques. Vary your sentences for effect – long ones to build suspense, and short ones to provide punchlines. Use a variety of punctuation.
You should make sure that you include some literary devices – but only where they have effect. A metaphor or a simile is a great way of creating an image for the reader, but it needs to be appropriate. Pick a simile which emphasises an important characteristic, or an important plot point. If a main character is cross, then perhaps his face ‘looked like a raincloud’. Try to avoid using clichés. Don’t use metaphors which don’t support the effect you are aiming for.
Choose the words you use carefully, to create an impact on the reader. Adjectives can tell us a lot about a character, but use too many and they lose strength. Even when writing prose you can use techniques like onomatopoeia (words that sound like their meaning) or alliteration (repetition of the same sound) to create an effect.
Don’t forget to check that you’ve got the basics right –capitals, full stops and spelling. There is no point in using advanced techniques if you forget the basics – you won’t get full credit when it comes to being marked. At least a third of the marks for writing go to accurate sentences, varied for effect.