I originally wrote this post as a guest article for an amazing blog, https://www.nuellaigwe.com/ .
Whatever you write, emails, stories, blog posts, your writing represents who you are, professionally and personally.
If you’re publishing a novel and the way you write it out doesn’t interest the reader or you drag out certain bits, no matter how exciting the climax or what’s to come in, they simply will not pick it up again.
So it’s always good to brush on a couple of basic tips and advice on how to perfect your writing and turn that future novel into a bestseller!
How do I get better at writing?
One of the best writing tips I can give you is to write often.
Whatever thing you want to get good at, cooking, writing, learning another language, it takes practice.
At least once every two days, I time myself and try to write in a genre that I haven’t in a while.
I’m currently working on my debut novel, which is a thriller/mystery and I’ve been focusing mainly on those genres.
So every day, I’d give myself ten minutes to write sci-fi, adventure, horror, historical, or even a script.
You could do that every day, and trust me, your writing will improve massively.
Writing in different genres and writing different things could also help you to build your writer portfolio.
I’d also recommend using writing prompts, if you want to perfect your writing, you can practice with these, they help.
If you’re working on a novel, it may feel pretty intimidating!
The only way your writing will improve is if you practice it daily.
It can be a small paragraph, or a sentence, just practice this small skill daily and the paper won’t seem that intimidating, it’s only waiting for your brilliant ideas!
Tips for writing great emails
- Proofread before you press send – typos or grammar mistakes will make you look pretty bad if it is a formal, professional email. Check for errors and proofread thoroughly before you press send!
- Keep it brief and clear – Does the person receiving your email understand what you’ve typed? Even if it doesn’t have any mistakes, make sure you word your email. Keep your email brief and concise and get to the point quickly. In professional emails, brevity is important. The person on the other end may not have much time to read your long, complicated email and scan for what you’re trying to say.
- Avoid slacker words – You’re trying to keep your email brief and clear. Avoid using unnecessary and slacker words such as: very, extremely.
Good writing starts with thinking
Let’s say someone important is coming to your home tonight for dinner and you’re in charge of preparing everything and making sure it all turns out amazing. You’ll need to think, what does this person like to eat for dinner? You’ll need to create a meal plan, go shopping and start preparing the meal to get it ready in time for your big guest to arrive.
A good dinner party takes a lot of planning and thinking. And to write a good novel also takes a lot of planning and thinking.
Ask yourself these questions and get thinking:
- Who is my audience? Who am I writing for? Middle-grade readers, young adults, or five-year-olds? You’ll need to understand what your audience’s aspirations and fears are to write a great novel that they can relate to and enjoy!
- Are there places in my novel where the reader may feel bored and/or confused by the story?
You’ll need to really think and plan out your novel well, just like a four-course dinner. The readers are like your important guests, and they’re picky. Very picky. If the book isn’t delicious, they won’t read it. Full stop.
You’ll need to captivate your reader
If you want your reader to read on, you must captivate them in your headlines and a few paragraphs. If any parts drag or make the reader confused, they’ll put it down.
You’ll need to captivate your reader by creating powerful titles for your chapters, and even powerful first lines because that’s what draws the reader in.
A line like I didn’t mean to kill her would make the reader, well, want to read on!
You don’t always need a great book title, but that will make your readers curious and pick up the book.
Do not confuse the reader by starting the book and introducing all your characters, dragging on descriptions, or piling up information on the reader, leaving them stunned.
Reading is important
If you’re writing fiction, read fiction. If you’re writing nonfiction, read nonfiction.
All writers are readers first.
I’m not telling you to read lots of books so you can copy the author’s work and ideas.
However, you can get inspired and learn their technique of writing.
Don’t just pick up a book and start reading. Concentrate closely on how the writer uses words for different purposes and writes amazing dialogue and captivating, short sentences of detail.
Reading fiction will show you how to use figurative language in your writing like metaphors, personification, and similes. metaphors, similes.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: read a lot and write a lot”. — Stephen King
Polish your vocabulary
If you want to perfect and improve your writing, you’ll need to polish your vocabulary. Substitute words you use often for words you don’t use often.
Look at the sentence below.
“I’m reading Harry Potter. It’s really interesting.”
Is used way too often in pieces of writing. You can substitute it for better words.
“I’m reading Harry Potter. It’s remarkably interesting.”
The sentence above now looks good. Or spectacular.
If you want to become a great writer, you’ll need to have a stronghold of English vocabulary.
- Learn and use synonyms – Readers dislike it when writers use repetitive words. Whenever I write my stories on Word, I always have a tab open with an online thesaurus. It has amazing synonyms that people should use in writing more and can brighten up a bland paragraph.
- Make a list of interesting phrases and words – If you’re reading a book or article and come across an intriguing word or phrase, write it down! If you don’t know what it means, find out. It can polish your writing. I have a Word Document with words I find interesting, like quintessential.
Last tips for perfecting your writing
- Set writing goals – You can’t achieve a goal if you don’t have one! Perhaps your goal is to write a hundred words a day or learn new words. Write down your goals and work towards them.
- Always carry a notebook and pen – I try to walk around with a pen and small reporter’s notebook everywhere, and I get amazing ideas at random moments and forget them later on, and maybe you do as well. Carrying a notebook and pen, or even your phone with a notes app helps because inspiration can hit you at any time.
- Read your writing out loud – It will be easier to spot errors and typos if you read your writing to yourself. Or even better, get a friend or family member to read your work and give you honest, valuable feedback
If you follow the tips above, write and read often and practice writing in different genres, your writing will improve massively!
Thank you for reading, I hope you found this post interesting!
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2 thoughts on “Perfect your writing”
Love this post! I totally agree with everything. It’s kind of funny because if I were to write the Harry Potter sentence it would be: I read Harry Potter this weekend. It was interesting. (Not a fan of -ly verbs)
Just pointing that out to say it’s nice that all authors have different writing styles 😊😊😁
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Thank you so much! That’s interesting. I think I use -ly words a bit too much 🙂
How are you doing?