chapter  Chapter 4
22 Pages

How to enhance your writing skills

WithStella Cragie, Ann Pattison

One key facility that translators and writers have in common is the ability to work wonders with words. Publishers now give more credit to translators, and we have seen the emergence of the translator/writer and translator/poet. For translation students and for translators who do not usually work with literary-type material, creative writing is an effective and enjoyable way to become even better at crafting a text. The “tricks” that writers use to hook their readers include invoking the senses, using an unusual viewpoint, showing rather than telling, signposting, exploiting the rule of three, using words from the same semantic field and suspending disbelief. Examples are quoted from the other languages featured.

Translators need to recognise when a writer is deliberately breaking the mould and to account for this in the target text. The writing exercises are designed to give readers an insight into how this can be done. By creating a character from a certain time and culture, writing a logline to define a theme, responding to sensual stimuli and completing a workout with words, readers can find their own writer’s voice and be equipped to understand another author’s voice at an emotional level and recreate it more effectively.