Writers employ the use of writing tools in their work. The way the tools are implemented separates good writers from average to bad writers. Writing is an art that people learn to perfect over time. The nature of man dictates that, humans should be best at what they do. Writers are no exception and therefore the need to learn how to effectively use writing tools. There are a number of tools that a writer can employ in his work.
First is the use of prose. Prose is a type of language employing natural grammatical structure and normal flow of speech in the communication process. The simple and loosely defined nature of a prose has greatly impacted on its adoption and use in factual, topical and fictional writing (Mertens 2010). The different and common types of prose include, heroic, nonfictional, polyphonic, alterative and monosyllabic among others. Writers employ the use of prose in films, magazines, encyclopedia, broadcasting, law, among many other forms of communication. Prose is also used in criticism. Writers who aim at improving skills in the use of prose should use them in reflectively in ordinary speech (Zinsser 2006). Prose can also be classified on the ladder of linguistics. Some easy to understand, others cannot be understood and others neither easy nor difficult to understand. Prose that is easy to understand falls at the bottom of the ladder and ascends with the extent of reader’s comprehension. In nonfiction pieces of writing, prose is used to create anxiety, expectation and anticipation in the reader. For instance, when a writer says that a bomb is going to explode, it creates anxiety in the reader. The reader expects the worst or the best of the situation. It puts the reader in a state of suspense.
Secondly is the use of abstraction in writing. Most writers often employ the use of abstraction in linguistics. Abstraction goes hand in hand with simplification, by leaving important details unexplained, ambiguous or vague. In linguistics, it is used to analyze language but to a certain level of detail. This form of writing comes in levels, hence the ladder of abstraction (Clark 2006). There are different types of abstraction in linguistics including, phonemes, graphemes, lexemes and morphemes. Abstractions also employ the use of syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Abstraction reveals details of an object only to a certain level that the writer wants. Writers use abstraction by using intangible and hidden means to explain and reveal tangible objects. Just as in the use of prose, the hierarchy of abstraction can be conceptualized using a ladder. Language is abstract and general at the top of the ladder and it descends with the reduction in abstraction (Mertens 2010). Metaphors and similes go hand in hand with abstraction. They help in differentiating concrete objects from abstract. Understanding how to apply the use of metaphors and similes in writing improves writer’s skills in abstraction (Zinsser 2006). For instance, abstraction is evident when a writer talks of the old friends in history to mean former players of baseball.
Abstraction and prose are both important tools for writing. Learning how to use them effectively differentiates good writers from average and poor writers. Both prose and abstraction have certain similarities and differences. Prose is used in simple regular writing applicable to letters and speeches. Prose can also be used in any writing with no rhyming, metric and other organized formatting structures. Prose uses natural everyday language that can also be employed in poetry. Abstraction is used by writers to conceal the truth from the readers. At the low levels of abstraction, individuals easily understand what is happening but at high levels of abstraction, individuals may not comprehend. Good writers should learn how to effectively use prose where necessary and where to use abstraction. Similarly both prose and abstraction can be employed in a single piece of writing. However, it should be easy to identify prose in a dialogue due to its ordinary and simple nature.