I feel like helping others today, so I’m going to share my top 10 writing tips. These are my own tips that I follow whenever I’m writing, and as I said, they are just tips. You may agree or disagree with them, and you are free to follow or ignore them:
- Even if tedious, proofread: checking for grammar and spelling error is a golden rule when writing, and it is imperative. You must always proofread your work. Always. ALWAYS.
- Be very careful with your word choices: try to prevent repetitions, mainly if you are writing prose. Use synonyms, aid yourself of a thesaurus whenever you can. Also, make use of advanced vocabulary now and then. Advanced vocabulary is useful to put emphasis on the power of your words, something that without doubt will make your work more captivating and eye-catching. Although, you don’t need to fill your work of words you don’t even understand, nor use professional and technical words that will confuse your readers. Also always keep in mind who is your desired audience: for example, if you are writing for children, make sure you use words that they will comprehend.
- Use adverbs sparingly in your writing: Don’t abuse of adverbs, either omit them or replace them with stronger verbs if possible. For instance, instead of saying ‘I’m very tired’ you can say ‘I’m exhausted’.
- Share your work, and don’t be afraid of asking for feedback and critiques: comments, critiques and feedback can help you to grow as a writer, as well as to notice mistakes invisible to your eyes. Moreover, positive comments will provide you with satisfaction, while negative comments will push you towards improvement.
- Don’t make the mistake of confusing people’s opinions with facts: not everything a critique points out may be a mistake. ‘You need to proofread’, a fact; ‘you need to make your story’s pace faster’, an opinion. There is a difference between your writing skills and your writing style. Writing skills can be good or bad, but your style is your style.
- Keep your sentences/paragraphs consistent: make sure your sentences/paragraphs are not too long, neither too short; furthermore, they just need to contain the vital information you want your readers to know. Try to keep an organised structure when writing.
- Make as many drafts as you need before publishing/sharing the final work: never rush yourself, edit till you are 100% happy with what you have written.
- Try to add your own originality touch: originality is very important for creative writers, such as novelists, though it can also be useful for journalists. You need to stand out from the crowd; don’t imitate others, keep your own style and strive to be different. Avoid cliches, invent your own unique way of narrating/informing.
- Describe using the five senses, plus add emotions and feelings: when you are writing prose or informative articles about places or people, describe what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you touch, and what you taste (always if applicable). In addition, describe the emotional effect the place or person has on you. Readers need to feel your words as if they were their own ones; as if they were in the place described, or as if they were with the person described. This is very important mainly when writing prose; readers need to feel inside a story, to be connected with its characters.
- Read: every good writer is an avid reader. Most writers start as readers, till they feel inspired by others work, and decide to write their own ones. And the best way of improving or clearing any possible doubts when writing is having a look at a wide range of published/known works similar to yours one.
I hope these tips are of aid for you all, feel free to suggest your own ones in the comments below the post.
Trying to be helpful,
Emilie H. Featherington