10 Ways to Improve Your Writing

I work on improving my writing daily. I want to improve my understanding of my craft for my readers, my editor and myself. I think most writers improve simply by writing more. The more you write, the more you improve your craft. Like anything else, practice makes perfect but here are ten things you can do to improve your writing even faster.

  1. Develop a daily writing habit. Again, the more you practice and the more you practice regularly, the faster you will improve.
  2. Plan, then write. You can be a pantser or a plotter but some kind of planning is best when you write. Even if you keep it in your head and plan as you go a few chapters at a time.
  3. Experiment. Write above your skill level to stretch and see what comes of if it. If you have never written a multi-point of view novel, try it or try adding some flash backs for the challenge. Do something different.
  4. Read good writers inside and outside your genre. Reading every day is the best way to learn to write better. It can keep you up to date what the trends are in your field and in publishing. But almost through osmosis you can learn style techniques you may not notice at first.
  5. Be Concise. Concise writing is an industry trend. Dead are the purple prose of the past. Hemingway was one of the first to give us concise writing in a novel, and others followed.
  6. Learn to be conversational. Writing that is too stiff is hard for readers to relate to. In an age where you need to engage your reader, learning to write conversationally is essential.
  7. Think about your audience. I write romance novels so when I write I picture one person reading my novel. I write to that one person and try to give that person what they may want in my novel. A happy ending of course but other things romance, love, and a decent plot.
  8. Read your writing out loud. Reading your writing out loud helps you to slow down and find your errors. Recently I discovered that when I finish writing for the day, I don’t put punctuation at the end of paragraphs. I found that tick by reading out loud.
  9. Get feed-back. Getting feed back can be hard. First, finding a critique group or beta readers where there is trust can be difficult. Second, being brave enough to share your work with others is a courageous thing not everyone is ready for. But work toward sharing your writing you’ll be the better writer for it.
  10. Put yourself out there. try to get published. Poems and short stories have journals and other magazines that look for well-written work all the time. The best advice is to collect rejections. If you have a novel, you can traditionally publish going through finding an agent to represent you, or you can publish independently. The thing is, you shouldn’t let your best work rot on the shelf.

2 thoughts on “10 Ways to Improve Your Writing

  1. Hi Billie. These are awesome tips! I’d only add one more and that is to build yourself a writing community and surround yourself with like-minded people. Whether online or in a writing group it’s important to know you’re not alone. Even reading and commenting on blogs is a start. Keep Writing Billie. You’re doing awesome.

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  2. Dear Faye,
    You are so encouraging I appreciate the support. I’ve followed you and agree that you need a good group around you. I don’t know how I could have left that out.
    Thank you,
    Billie

    Like

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