Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Definition of an IDEAL WRITER

During my student days I spent a lot of time in libraries as I loved to read, and from time to time, if I found something interesting, especially a quote or a aphorism or a proverb or anything that appealed to me, I jotted it down in my diary which I used to carry along with me.

This morning, while rearranging my bookcase and cleaning my books, I browsed through an ancient diary and randomly opened a page. To me delight I found that I had jotted down a description or rather a definition of an Ideal Writer by John Henry Newman (1801-1890) [Cardinal Newman]

THE IDEAL WRITERA Definition by Cardinal Newman

He writes passionately, because he feels keenly; forcibly, because he conceives vividly; he sees too clearly to be vague; he is too serious to be otiose; he can analyze his subject, and therefore he is rich; he embraces it as a whole and in its parts, and therefore he is consistent; he has a firm hold of it, and therefore he is luminous. When his imagination wells up, it overflows in ornament; when his heart is touched, it thrills along his verse. He always has the right word for the right idea, and never a word too much. If he is brief, it is because few words suffice; when he is lavish of them, still each word has its mark, and aids, not embarrasses, the vigorous march of his elocution. He expresses what all feel, but all cannot say; and his sayings pass into proverbs among his people, and his phrases become household words and idioms of their daily speech, which is tessellated with the rich fragments of his language, as we see in foreign lands the marbles of Roman grandeur worked into the walls and pavements of modern palaces.

In a nutshell, we must strive to ensure that our writing is accurate, logical, clear, simple and brief and try to develop a writing style that is simple yet effective.

If you find the definition of an “ideal writer” by Cardinal Newman a bit too prolix and verbose, then here is a simple description by  Charles Caleb Colton:

“That writer does the most who gives his reader the most knowledge and takes from him the least time”

This seems to be an “engineer’s definition” – focussing on the “efficiency” of writing – the knowledge versus time ratio – maximum knowledge in the least possible time – or maybe, a good writer imparts maximum creative satisfaction to a reader and takes from him the least time. I think the same applies even more to blogging too.

HAPPY WRITING (and Happy Blogging)

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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1 comment:

gunjan kumar said...

thumbs up to Cardinal Newman And you