The other day I was searching through a few old notes I had about becoming a better writer. I had gather the information a few years back, long before I began to write anything. So, it surprised me when I was looking through a mound of old notes that I had decided to throw out and found these gems. I think everyone, no matter where you are in your writing skill, could benefit from these writing tips.
Here are just 10 tips from the notes I found on how to become a Better Writer. I thought they were very good Tips.
1) Pay attention to punctuation, especially to the correct use of commas and periods. These two punctuation marks regulate the flow of your thoughts, and they can make your text confusing even if the words are clear.
2)Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.
A really nice trick is to switch off your monitor when you’re typing. You can’t edit what you can’t see.
3)Learn the rules of good writing… then learn when and how to break them.
4)Be a good reader first.
5)Learn to take criticism and seek it out at every opportunity. Don’t get upset even if you think the criticism is harsh, don’t be offended even if you think it’s wrong, and always thank those who take the time to offer it.
6)Right click on a word to use the thesaurus. Do it again on the new word and make the best use of your vocabulary.
7). Avoid wordiness. The Professor put it well: “a sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
8)Remove as many adjectives as possible
9)Instead of adding tags (he said/she said) to every bit of dialogue, learn to identify the speaker by showing him/her in action
10)Participate in NaNoWriMo, which challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.
This is my first year participating in NaNo Writing month and I noticed that my writing has definitely improved over the course of a few days. The words flow freely and my mind is much clearer. Its a struggle to find the time, but when I do, it a joy.
I hope these 10 tips will help any writer out there looking for ways to improve.
I know they have helped me.