Greetings My Friends,
Welcome to Anna’s Corner where you’ll find my thoughts, reflections and meditations on topics related to writing and romance. Each week (hopefully) I’ll be posting an article or story that I find useful, interesting and / or entertaining. I look forward to hearing YOUR thoughts on these subjects. This week’s article is on writing.
Tips on Becoming a Better Writer
Want to improve the way you write? I know I do. So how do we go about it? I scoured the internet, read various articles and talked to fellow authors to get their sage advice. What did I come up with you ask? Below you will find a compilation of the tips I have found useful in my never ending quest to refine and improve my writing skills. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, there should be at least one suggestion here that will help you on your road to improvement.
Read great writers│ and learn from those you like. I read as much as possible and pay close attention to the various writing styles, mechanics and content of a story. I use bits and pieces to create a style that works for me.
Write as much as possible │and enjoy doing it. The more you write the better you’ll get. Like any other skill, you need to practice in order for it to improve. So… write, write, write.
Use a dictionary and thesaurus │There are thousands of words to choose from in the English language so don’t keep using the same ones over and over to convey thoughts, feelings and mood. Your readers will notice. Trust me on this. I speak from experience. Just yesterday a good friend informed me that I used the word “ruefully” way too many times in one of my novels. I wish I had noticed that before it went to print. If I had used a thesaurus or a dictionary to come up with some alternative words I could have eliminated that little faux pas. Lesson learned: When in doubt use a dictionary or thesaurus.
Experiment │and find your own voice. Use bits and pieces from other people. Experiment with your style, your voice, your mechanics, and your themes. Keep what works and throw away the rest.
Revise │You may not want to spend the extra time it takes but revising your work can turn a mediocre piece into something great. Review everything not just grammar and spelling. Look for unnecessary or overused words and awkward or confusing sentences. Make your piece clear, concise and fresh.
Get feedback │preferably from a good writer or editor, or at the very least, someone who reads a lot in the genre you are writing. Listen to what they have to say and don’t take their criticism personally. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and expand as a writer.
Get in the game │At some point you’ll need to let others read your writing. So submit your work to a publisher, post articles on your blog, look for opportunities to guest post on other blogs. In short, do whatever it takes to get your work out there. And keep at it. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t keep trying.
I hope you have found the tips in this article useful and I invite you to share other tips that have helped you create good work.