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Writing > 10 Ways to Improve your Writing

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message 1: by Naomi (last edited Jun 10, 2012 08:10PM) (new)

Naomi 10 Ways to Improve your Writing

I’ve been doing some writing lately and have figured out of few things that have really helped so I thought I’d share.

1. Type your writing on a word processing program such as Microsoft Word to help with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Don’t forget to save!

2. Speaking of saving, save your work in at least two places. One copy on the computer, and the other attached to an email you sent to yourself. Trust me, when you lose your work on the computer, it’s not fun :(. If you’re really worried, make sure to writing down the most important ideas of your story. Also consider saving on a flashdrive (very handy).

3. Use a thesaurus! You’d be surprised at how many alternative words and synonyms you can find. You can use an online dictionary (www.dictionary.com/thesaurus) or find synonyms on Microsoft Word by right clicking the word you want to look up and scrolling over ‘synonyms’.

4. Read it out loud. Sometimes reading aloud will help you pinpoint awkward/confusing sentences. This will also help when looking for punctuation mistakes. Make sure you have a pen with you to make corrections. Also be on the look out for typos.

5. Vary your sentences. Write a combination of long, medium, and short sentences; this will greatly improve how the writing flows. Another way to vary sentences: highlight the first word in every sentence. If you find yourself repeating a lot of words, consider changing the sentence structure.

6. Metaphors and similes. Comparing two things using ‘like’ or ‘as’ is a similes whereas a metaphor does not us those two words to compare. Using this literary device will help to describe things.

7. If you have an idea, WRITE IT DOWN. Even
if it’s not a good one, it may come in handy later. It’s better to have it written on paper, rather than for you to forget about it later. It may also help to carry a notebook around with you. Sometimes the best ideas come in unexpected places.

8. Have someone read it. You don’t have to have anyone read your story, but it sure helps. Give them a clean copy and tell them to writing in comments and edit anything they think needs to be corrected. Also ask for their overall opinion.

9. Make a character’s profiles list. List the names of your characters, their age, gender, favorite color, hobbies, birthday, height, eye color, where they live, and anything else you can think of. As the author, it’s important to know your characters very well, even if most of that information doesn’t make it into the writing.

10. Finally, ask yourself a bunch of questions. For example…
-Is this story interesting? If I was the reader, would I keep reading?
-Is it confusing/boring/exciting?
-Are my characters developed? Do they have personalities?
-What is the setting/plot?
-What is the POV (point of view) of my novel?
-What genre is my novel?


I hope this helped any of you guys that are writing :)


message 2: by Lena (new)

Lena | 59 comments Also, if you've been writing and can't decide how to continue, don't get frustrated because you can't do it, and don't spend hours just staring at your writing as though the answer will just appear before your eyes. Come back to it at a later date. This is also helpful as what you thought was good yesterday might be terrible today.


message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cat2010) All usable advice. Thanks


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

thanks a lot. i use Microsoft synonyms way too much but i always make sure i know what the word means. i have an end-of-year english creative exam coming up so this is fab :o)


message 5: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) WHOOP WHOOP!


message 6: by Lena (new)

Lena | 59 comments Okay, Amanda, you are without a doubt stark raving bonkers.


message 7: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! lol! i know!


message 8: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Lena wrote: "Also, if you've been writing and can't decide how to continue, don't get frustrated because you can't do it, and don't spend hours just staring at your writing as though the answer will just appear..."

definetly.


message 9: by Naomi (new)

Naomi bookowl wrote: "thanks a lot. i use Microsoft synonyms way too much but i always make sure i know what the word means. i have an end-of-year english creative exam coming up so this is fab :o)"

yea, sometimes i end up using a word in the wrong way; its surprising to find subtle differences in words that mean almost the same thing. Definetly something to look out for.


message 10: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) lol sammmeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! NAOMI! DO YOU THINK IM WEIRD???? BD


message 11: by Naomi (new)

Naomi NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I dont think youre weird :) trust me, i have friends weirder than you


message 12: by Naomi (new)

Naomi 12. Also be careful of these easy to miss mistakes--
Your/You’re
Its/It’s
There is a difference!


message 13: by Naomi (new)

Naomi 13. (This is especially for those of you with teen characters) Just because you use a lot of swear words, doesn’t mean you effectively express the character’s anger/annoyance. In some cases, using excessive foul language ends up offending some people and making the dialogue/characters seem unrealistic. I’m not saying you can’t use bad words, that’s up to you. I’m saying to make sure you have it under control and using them for the right reasons.


message 14: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) Woah, these are really helpful! THXS! XD


message 15: by Lena (new)

Lena | 59 comments And remember their/there/they're. You would be surprised how many people use the wrong one.


message 16: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) I DONT!! HA! im smart... lol!


message 17: by Lena (new)

Lena | 59 comments ARGH YOU'RE INFURIATING!!! Don't and I'm, Amanda! XD


message 18: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) Wait wat? You are amanda? huh?!


message 19: by Lena (new)

Lena | 59 comments Hilarious. As in it is don't, not dont, and I'm, not im. I WASN'T STEALING YOUR AWFUL NAME!!!


message 20: by BvbArmette (new)

BvbArmette  (Demi-GodGirl1356) LOL! says Helena!


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