Write to make Diamonds

by Rory C. Keel

I recently conducted some interesting research on diamonds, how they are formed in the earth, the process used in mining these allotropes of carbon and what happens to them on the journey from mining to the market.

Dealing with diamonds the industry uses what is called the 4C’s. The first “C” is the Carat. This is a term used to reference the size of the diamond. The second is Color. This can range from colorless, the most valuable, to a yellow hue. On occasion a diamond of another color is found such as the blue Hope Diamond. These are rare. Thirdly is the Clarity. This describes the degree to which a diamond is free of blemishes and inclusions. Finally is the Cut. The cut is the jeweler’s touch. The angle at which a diamond is cut makes it attractive to the eye and gives it its shimmering brightness.

I have found that these “4C’s” are very useful in writing.

First, the carat. What size does my writing project need to be? Many contest pieces, devotionals, short stories and articles are subject to a specific word count. Publishers and agents may also require a word count in the length of some novels.

Secondly is the color. What is the genre’ of my writing? The answer to this question will not only help you in what to write, but in determining your target audience when it comes time to publish.

Third is clarity. What point of view are you writing from? Is it first person or third person, past or present? Double check your grammar usage and make it proper for the piece; and don’t forget the punctuation and spelling. These things can determine whether your story shines or is as clear as mud.

Finally the cut. The goal of this stage is to produce a faceted jewel where each angle between the facets optimizes the luster of the diamond. The jeweler cuts out weaknesses and flaws to focus attention on the beauty of the diamond. As writers, we type as fast as we can, elaborating on every little detail and sometimes find ourselves in a dark alley away from our storyline; or we add filler just to make the word count. Let’s face it; there are some things that will need to be taken out to make it shine.

At the jeweler’s a rough diamond is placed in a small vice, then carefully and strategically cut, and when it’s polished, it’s beautiful!

The diamond is your story.


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