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1 Beware the romantic haze

It’s easy to indulge in a romantic haze and get carried away by the sound of your own words—attractive phrases, the sensuous play of vowels and sibilants, the sly insinuation of disguised intent.

2. Ignore and disregard self-doubts

Nobody wants to hear or read about your self-doubts, qualms or scruples. Just an oblique reference is usually too much, even for your spouse. Readers want to see, smell, feel, hear, and taste your words, but they will put up with a certain amount of failure of language if you can give them a little thrill. I’m talking about myself, but you may have found the same.

3. Nothing but the truth

Personally, I want the truth, spoken clearly and with confidence. This is what readers want. I don’t mean, of course, the facts of your own life, but the truth of human experience that makes audiences salivating waiting for the next line.

This is probably harder to get at than it sounds, but the trick is to listen to the inner voice. The trick is to listen to your heart and write what it speaks, to reinvent yourself every day, every minute, to be fully alive and not just go through the motions.

4. Know your audience

If you write short stories, poetry, fiction, or anything inspiring, inspired or inspirational, you will be the first, primary, and sometimes total readership. The great thing about this is that knowing your audience is the same thing as knowing yourself, which Socrates made clear is the most important thing anyone can do. Who are you talking to, the world, a certain set of people, the young or the old. Your family and friends are not your audience, they will either love everything you have written or else pick on it and say ill words about it.

5. Read everything you can

There is wisdom to be found on cereal boxes if you know how to look. Read the acknowledgements in books and find out who the author hangs out with. Often this will substitute for reading the book itself. Read the publisher’s statement in magazines and check out the circulation audit. Read things that no one else does, and you will learn things no one else knows. This won’t make you a better writer, but you will have a wealth of interesting and obscure information and will be able to write so many things or use as an example in your writing the way no one has.

6. Speak and listen as much as possible

Both enlarge you in different ways, and both can lead to success as a writer. The main thing, although it sometimes takes a long time to realize it, is the words. The more you use words, the more real they become.

7. Ask yourself, why do I want to write?

Why you are writing is what will keep you on the go and not stop when you are to put a comer or run out of words while writing.

But in everything you write try to share helpful advice as much as possible.

The Fun

1.Start your story in the right place

when something exciting happens, when something unusual comes to pass, when a worthy challenge has been presented to your protagonist.

2. Save the back-story for later, and be sneaky about it.

Feed it in carefully and sparingly just when the reader needs to know. And use only the most essential details of the past. This is more about timing and placing everything at the right time

3. Avoid saying too much or too little.

Saying too much bog down your pace, can come off as pretentious and also bore the reader. Saying too little makes it difficult for the audience to connect with your characters and can strip your story of its emotional impact.

4. Build conflict.

The conflict is the engine that drives your story. If you don’t have much to say or write, you aren’t going anywhere (Read everything you can). It keeps your reader from getting frustrated, bored or weary of what you are saying.

5. Stay active.

Active writing means keeping the reader in the action. It means moving forward in real time, writing what you should write at the right time. It means using specific details as opposed to clichés and generalizations. It also means using better diction and stronger verbs.

6. Skip the boring stuff.

Nobody wants to read it. Use snappy, realistic dialogue that is unique to each character and isn’t bogged down with too many tags or adverbs (“she said sternly …”).

7. Create characters who are interesting

—which means they are not perfect. They must also be properly motivated or they will not be believable or sympathetic. (Mostly used when writing a movie script).

8. Help your reader suspend disbelief by avoiding a plot that is too contrived or coincidental.

Put in a strong foundation at the beginning of your book so that whatever turns on it is credible and rings true. (Don’t exaggerate too much and make everything look fake E.G film trick)

9. Trust your reader and use plenty of subtext.

Be careful not to make everything quite so obvious.

“Subtext is like a gift to the astute reader—an additional layer of meaning implied by the text but not accessible without a bit of thinking.

 Experienced readers aren’t confined to the text—what’s printed on the page—they interact with the text, fully participating with the writer in the making of meaning in the story.” Such reader participation heightens the emotional impact of a story.

Ease; relax

  1. A Sense of Pace:

Many writers make the mistake of engaging in what I call “binge writing.” They write for 10 hours straight, riding the perfect wave of inspiration. The problem is, you still need to wake up the next day and do it again. Best is to pace yourself. Write for three hours straight, without interruption, and then stop.

2. Knowing Where to Stop:

A good “trick” is to stop writing at a point where I know that I can pick up easily the next day. I’ll stop in mid-paragraph, often in mid-sentence. It makes getting out of bed so much easier, because I know that all I’ll have to do to be productive is complete the sentence.

 There’s an added advantage: The human brain hates incomplete sentences. All night my mind will have secretly worked on the passage and likely mapped out the remainder of the page, even the chapter.

3. Blocks of Undisturbed Time:

You can set aside a minimum of three hours every morning, five days a week, during which no one will disturb or allowed to intrude

4. A Good Library:

For all writers, but especially those of us who write nonfiction, a good library with open stacks is crucial. In other words reading is important.

5. A Trusted Reader:

Most writers have at least one friend or partner who can be trusted to read your writing and provide an accurate, constructive critique, either with a crying faces, smiles and long receding lines of zzzzzzzzzzzs.

Note

Good writing is the result of a lot of practice and hard work.

This fact should encourage you: it means that the ability to write well is not a gift that some people are born with, not a privilege extended to only a few. If you’re willing to work, you can improve your writing.

professional writers—the ones who make writing look easy—will be the first ones to tell you that often it’s not easy at all you can only get use to it but it’s not easy.

Don’t be discouraged by the thought that writing rarely comes easily to anyone. Instead, keep in mind that regular practice will make you a better writer. As you sharpen your skills, you’ll gain confidence and enjoy writing more than you did before.

Your attitude toward writing will improve as you grow more satisfied with your work.

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges that’s just how hard it might be.”

Think of it as work. It’s hard physical work. You keep saying, I can do it better.'”

” If a writer is too happy with his writing, something is wrong with him. A real writer always feels as if he hasn’t done enough. This is the reason he has the ambition to rewrite, to publish things, and so on. The bad writers are very happy with what they do. They always seem surprised about how good they are. I would say that a real writer sees that he missed a lot of opportunities and have more room to improve.”

“Writing is work—there’s no secret. If you dictate or use a pen or type or write with your toes—it’s still work.”

speech

1. Use concrete rather than vague language.

Use direct and simple sentence.

example

Vague: The weather was of an extreme nature on the West Coast.

This sentence raises frustrating questions: When did this extreme weather occur? What does “of an extreme nature” mean? Where on the West Coast did this take place?

Concrete: California had unusually cold weather last week.

2. Use active voice whenever possible.

Active voice means the subject is performing the verb.

Passive voice means the subject receives the action.

Active: Barry hit the ball.

Passive: The ball was hit.

Notice that the party responsible for the action—in the previous example, whoever hit the ball—may not even appear when using passive voice. So passive voice is a useful option when the responsible party is not known.

Example: My watch was stolen.

NOTE

The passive voice has often been criticized as something employed by people in power to avoid responsibility:

Example: Mistakes were made.

Translation: I made mistakes.

3. Avoid overusing there is, there are, it is, it was, etc.

Example: There is a case of meningitis that was reported in the newspaper.

Revision: A case of meningitis was reported in the newspaper.

Even better: The newspaper reported a case of meningitis. (Active voice)

Example: It is important to signal before making a left turn.

Revision: Signaling before making a left turn is important.

OR

Signaling before a left turn is important.

OR

You should signal before making a left turn.

Example: There are some revisions that must be made.

Revision: Some revisions must be made. (Passive voice)

Even better: Please make some revisions. (Active voice)

4. To avoid confusion, don’t use two negatives to make a positive without good reason.

Unnecessary: He is not unwilling to help.

Better: He is willing to help.

Sometimes a not un- construction may be desirable, perhaps even necessary:

Example: The book is uneven but not uninteresting.

5. Use consistent grammatical form when offering several ideas.

This is called parallel construction.

Correct: I admire people who are honest, reliable, and sincere.

Note that ‘are’ applies to and makes sense with each of the three adjectives at the end.

Incorrect: I admire people who are honest, reliable, and have sincerity.

In this version, are does not make sense with have sincerity, and have sincerity doesn’t belong with the two adjectives honest and reliable.

Correct: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Note that check your applies to and makes sense with each of the three nouns at the end.

Incorrect: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuate properly.

Here, check your does not make sense with punctuate properly, and punctuate properly doesn’t belong with the two nouns spelling and grammar. The result is a jarringly inept sentence.

6. Word order can make or ruin a sentence.

If you start a sentence with an incomplete phrase or clause, such as while crossing the street or Forgotten by history, it must be followed closely by the person or thing it describes. Furthermore, that person or thing is always the main subject of the sentence. Breaking this rule results in the dreaded, all-too-common

dangling modifier , or dangler .

Dangler: Forgotten by history, his autograph was worthless.

The problem: his autograph shouldn’t come right after history , because he was forgotten, not his autograph.

Correct: He was forgotten by history, and his autograph was worthless.

Dangler: Born in Chicago, my first book was about the 1871 fire.

The problem: the sentence wants to say I was born in Chicago, but to a careful reader, it says that my first book was born there.

Correct: I was born in Chicago, and my first book was about the 1871 fire.

7. Place descriptive words and phrases as close as is practical to the words they modify.

Ill-advised: I have a cake that Mollie baked in my lunch bag.

Cake is too far from lunch bag , making the sentence ambiguous and silly.

Better: In my lunch bag is a cake that Mollie baked.

8. A sentence fragment is usually an oversight, or a bad idea.

 It occurs when you have only a phrase or dependent clause but are missing an independent clause.

Sentence fragment: After the show ended.

Full sentence: After the show ended, we had coffee.

1) Read a lot.

Words comprise a writer’s essential “tool belt”; if you don’t build your vocabulary through reading, you greatly limit how you are able to communicate.

2) Brush up on grammar.

Get a decent grasp of general English grammar; once you understand the “rules” better, you realize how flexible many of them are

3) Pre-write.

Brainstorm, write rough sketches, draft up lists, Take some time to figure out what you really want to write about. Then develop a structure around it, with a direction of where you want to go. Structure gives you something in which you can exercise your creativity without getting too tangential.

4) Write.

Developing a regular writing discipline is essential to your success as an effective writer.

5) Re-write.

 Once you write something, you need to review it and have someone else review it.

If your rough draft just doesn’t look ok, you have to be okay with discarding it and moving on to something new. That doesn’t mean taking out some words or replacing all the down words with clever ones; it means actually re-writing the whole thing, giving the piece an entirely new flavor and style.

To write

1: Start with pen and paper

I don’t open my laptop before I come up with what I want to say. I want to know what my main message will be and preferably I’ve already sketched out the main structure of the article. Maybe I came up with some good key sentences too. This is the best antidote against screen-staring.

2: Open the right writing tool

These are three good writing apps

1. iA Writer . This app blocks out almost every urge to edit. When in ‘Focus Mode’, iA Writer only shows you the sentence you’re writing at that point and fades out the other ones. Also, your mouse doesn’t work. So jumping to a different section in the text is more difficult.

2. Ommwriter . Ok, this might sounds cheesy, but somehow Ommwriter gets me in the perfect mood to write. It plays ambient music and gives sound feedback every time you hit a key. This is incredibly satisfying.

3. WordPress. This was a terrible tool for focused writing. But the WordPress community has built a fine focus mode for its editor so I find myself choosing WordPress more often.

3: Write. Edit afterwards

When you started writing, nothing should threaten your flow. If a sentence sucks, fine, fix it later. If you are not sure about a fact or how to spell a name, don’t open Google yet, instead just type some giant XXXX’s so you can come back later to check them.

After you’ve said everything want to say, the hardest part is behind me. You’ve finished the procrastination-inducing creative process. Now it’s time to get the job done. Go back and put the correct thing.

How to grow

1. Write a Set Amount Each Day:

If you set yourself a doable daily goal and stick to it, you might be surprised at your output over the course of a month or two.

2. Write in the Morning:

Not only will you deliver your work when your mind is at its freshest, but you will also find that you can relax later on in the day; knowing with satisfaction that you have already done a healthy amount of work. Combined with #1, this habit will kick-start your day on a positive and efficient note.

3. Keep Your Writing Time For Writing:

As you write, other obligations, ideas and random thoughts will come into your head. Instead of getting up to do them, keep a notepad beside your writing area and jot down whatever things you will have to think about later. Your writing time is for writing; those other things can wait.

4. Stay focused:

Writers love to find distractions for themselves, it gives you a connection to your audience and The more you limit your physical distractions, the more freedom you grant to the world inside your head.

5. Develop Your Typing Skills:

When you’re not working on an actual piece of writing, try practicing typing tests. The Internet is rife with tools to improve your speed and accuracy, and the better you get, the easier it will be to keep your flow going.  #3 enhances your typing.

6. Get a Writing Partner:

From academics to bloggers, having someone to keep you accountable makes a huge difference in your effectiveness. The key is to find someone who is also working on a project. In this way, you can trade your work and get feedback, all the while meeting your time goals, because you know they are expecting something from you. Just make sure you partner up with someone who takes their (and your) writing as seriously as you do.

How to write well

1. Organize and argue.

Good writing is about raising important issues, making persuasive arguments, and marshalling evidence. The key to expressing your ideas effectively is sound organization. Follow a logical design and build your paper with clear sentences and coherent paragraphs.

2. Be concise.

Editing of unnecessary words, phrases, and sentences will improve your writing dramatically.

3. Write what you mean.

Know what you mean, know the meaning of words, and choose the words that precisely express your thoughts.

4. Write with force.

Express your ideas directly and gracefully. Vague words hide good arguments, but they don’t camouflage bad ones. Using strong verbs in the active voice will make your writing more forceful. Keep subject and verb close together.

5. Write for a reader.

Someone that reads your work is captive audience. Most readers are busy and impatient, and you will lose them quickly if you make their job difficult. Develop the habit of reading your writing as another person might read it. Read your sentences aloud. Test your work on readers, including the peer tutors at the Writing Center

6. Revise and rewrite.

The bad news is that writing is hard work. The good news is that with hard work you will become an effective writer. Make drafts a habit, even when they are not required. In addition to editing on screen, edit hard copies of your drafts in the cold light of day.

7. Avoid common errors.

Rules of grammar organize communication, and your readers will judge you by your knowledge of these rules. Below are common errors, Learn to avoid them.

COMMON ERRORS

1. Sentences.

A sentence has a subject and a predicate. Do not link two sentences with a comma or run together two sentences with no punctuation.

2. Punctuation.

Use a comma to separate two independent clauses separated by and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet. Use a comma after an introductory phrase or clause.  Use a semicolon between two independent clauses not separated by one of these conjunctions.

3. Agreement.

A singular subject takes a singular verb; a plural subject takes a plural verb. Use a singular pronoun with a singular antecedent and a plural pronoun with a plural antecedent. Some singular pronouns to remember: anyone, each, either, everyone.

4. Parallel Construction.

Sentence elements connected by idea should be expressed in similar form. 

5. Tense.

Use verb tenses correctly and consistently.

6. Voice.

Use the active voice, in which the subject acts, unless you have a good reason to use the passive voice.

7. Pronoun Reference.

Avoid the vagueness of pronouns, especially at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs. Rather than write “This is” or “It is,” use as subject the noun that is the actual subject of your sentence. 

8. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers.

Misplaced modifiers are words or phrases that, due to incorrect placement, refer to the wrong word in the sentence. Dangling modifiers do not refer to any word in the sentence. 

9. Citation.

Use citations in the proper form to document your use of other writers’ words and ideas.

More information

Practice your craft

You can’t do something well unless you do it badly first — and that begins with practice. Most professionals recommend setting aside time (even if it’s only 20 minutes) to write each day. You can’t get better if you don’t show up.

You can start by writing daily a minimum of 500 words. The more you write, the more you learn about writing — and the more you will realize you need to practice.

Challenge yourself

Write about topics that interest to you, but don’t forget to dabble in new stuff, as well. The more you stretch yourself, the more you grow. Never underestimate the importance of learning.

Try to learn something new every day by reading books, blogs, and magazines

Be yourself

Don’t model your writing after another writer. And if you do, do it only as a means of learning someone else’s technique, so that you can make it your own.

Ultimately, what you want is to discover your original writing voice. And frankly, that’s what your audience wants, too.

Start small

Most would-be writers begin in the wrong place. They begin by wanting to write a book . Don’t do that.

Start small, maybe with a blog or a journal. Then write a few articles for some magazines, and after that, consider a book. As you take one incremental step after another towards getting published, you’ll find that your confidence builds.

Don’t give up

If writing is your dream, treat it seriously. Stick with it, even after the passion fades. Write every day. Perseverance pays off. Most days, I don’t even want to write, but I show up, anyway. And something mystical happens; the Muse meets me, and inspiration happens when I least expect it.

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