8 Tips To Instantly Improve Your Writing

By on May 3, 2017
8 Tips To Instantly Improve Your Writing - Writer's Life.org

When it comes to improving our writing there is always more to learn. Be it understanding how to structure a plot, how to write great characters or simply how to get stuff done, there is always more we can do, and a wealth of tips and information out there to help us.

With this in mind here are 8 quick writing fixes!

Don’t write lazily

It’s important to understand the difference between silencing your inner critic and writing without paying any attention at all. Good writing requires effort and concentration, and while our first drafts are never going to be our best work, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give them our all. Pay attention to how you write and always sit down with the attitude ‘I am going to do my best today.’

Be observant

Good writers notice things. Make sure that you tune in to the world around you. It’s full of exciting and inspiring things that can really boost our writing. The best work makes clever observations about the world and the people within it and so make sure you watch people, read everything, eavesdrop on conversations, and look up more.

Learn more words

The better command you have of the English language the richer and smarter your writing will be. Use a dictionary and a thesaurus, if you are looking for an interesting or unusual description check out the synonyms of more common words. The dictionary is an amazing resource that not many writers actively use in their day to day writing, but getting into the habit of doing so can improve your command and knowledge of language and help you craft sentences and arrange words in surprising and original ways.

Always read your work aloud

If you want your writing to be effortless you need to make sure your reader doesn’t have to make an effort to read it. Reading your work aloud can really help writers to gain a better insight into how their writing flows and will highlight any parts that sound awkward or uncomfortable.

Avoid clichés

We are all guilty of including cliches in our work from time to time. The important part is to learn when you are doing it, and make sure that you go back and revise these parts of your book to make them more interesting and unique. Readers should be impressed and surprised by how you capture imagery and emotions by using language in a way that isn’t usual. If you describe things in ways that have been done 100 times before it’s easy for readers to quickly become turned off and bored with your writing.

Try writing by hand

Many writers may baulk at the idea of writing by hand, however doing so makes the whole process much slower…which can actually be a good thing. We spend so much time on our computers these days we can almost type without really thinking about what we are writing. Going back to hand written work can help writers pay more attention to the stories they are crafting - just make sure you store the paper in a safe place!

Always write with the reader in mind

A good story is all about communicating something to the reader. A good communicator is a translator, they will almost remove themselves from the process as they try to explain themselves to others. They will acknowledge that the way they understand and see the world isn’t necessarily how someone else will and in order for them to be understood they must be able to express what’s in their head in a clear and relatable way.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Many writers spend their whole writing career criticising themselves, riddled with self-doubt and of the opinion that they are talentless time wasters who should get a ‘real’ job. It’s important to remember that tenacity, perseverance and a strong will are as important in the writing game as raw talent is. Writing is an art, and therefore there is no right or wrong way of doing it, and you can always, always get better - it’s just about not giving up and putting the time and effort in to do so!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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