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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tips to Improve your Writing

I'm continually making more author friends on my writing journey, and I always seem to learn a lot from them.

Here are some of the best tips they've taught me.

# Write down every word you can think of and then cut 20% out of the text. When I'm writing I usually cut out at least two words of the original sentence. Sometimes I cut it down by half depending on the length.

#Write with emotion, make people cry. You want your audience to connect and relate to you, so the best way to achieve this is to write with feeling. You want to draw your readers in and hold them to the page.

# Have a sense of humour. Certain writers have such a way with words they make even the most traumatic of situations seem light.

# Write in different shades. Balance out the funny bits with the not so funny bits. Make sure your writing handles the current situation appropriately if it's a sensitive issue.

#Drink stimulant drinks like coffee. I'm sure this tip won't work for everyone but it sure works for me, I always have to have coffee to kick start my brain.

# Write a lot, every day if you can manage it. When I've taken a break for whatever reason it can be difficult to get back into things. Keep things fresh, especially if you're in the middle of your next book. You don't want to forget where you're going.

#Bare your soul in your writing - be candid. You're more likely to draw people in if you write like this. Be honest but respect people's feelings.

# Respect readers and fellow writers. I think this is one of the most important rules to date. You never know who reads your books, so be polite and respectful to everyone. This doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they say but if you start directly attacking them, the only person who looks bad is you.

# Don't be afraid of what others think of you, don't let one bad review hold you back for evermore. Just keep on writing and if you find things you can improve on, then improve on them by all means.

# Be a perfectionist. Don't let your work go online if you know there are errors lurking about. Always make sure everything is the best of your ability.

# Take risks and be determined to move forward. Listen to others and their advice but always make your own mind up at the end of the day.

Do you have any more tips to share?


  1. My #1 rule is: Say what you have to say and get off the page.

    I also think that respect for your reader extends to not treating him like an idiot. All you have to ask is: Does my book read like an American cop show? You don't have to explain everything. Let them work out stuff for themselves.

    I also think that you should leave time before you do your final edit and my time I mean months. Some authors literally put their manuscripts aside for years before looking at them again.

  2. Two very good points there, Jim. Thanks for stating them.