What Dickens and Cartland can teach web content writers

Posted on April 30, 2010


Charles Dickens, the Victorian author of famously gripping tales, and Barbara Cartland, who wrote so many frothily romantic novels, share a trait that all online article writers require. They were both extremely productive, turning out words by the hour rather than by the day.

In his time, Dickens never stopped, writing both non-fiction and fiction, short stories, novels and plays. Cartland, although less celebrated for her prose, wrote over seven hundred books. Even SEO copywriters can benefit from following their examples and keeping up their daily word outputs. All the anecdotal evidence points towards the production of a large volume of writing, leading to better quality work.

There is also the matter of reading, as reading can help to improve writing skills. Research suggests it probably has an even greater effect than merely practising writing on its own. Once again, Dickens and Cartland can be brought into play, as close reading and analysis of their novels could teach valuable lessons about structuring writing, appealing to emotions and even the basic, but far from easy, lesson of how to have a beginning, a middle and an end.

The works of Cartland do not appeal to everyone, and Dickens was seen as sentimental by some. Writers can learn from this that they need to craft words to suit their particular audience. It would be no use aping Dickens if the intended reader was someone like Oscar Wilde, who famously said that only someone with a “heart of stone” could read “the death of Little Nell without laughing”.

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