I thought I'd share some tips I've picked up along the writing road...
- Get someone else to critique your work, not your nearest and dearest.Unless they are a published writer of course. Choose someone who will give you honest useful feedback. Learn to take criticism and seek it out, at every opportunity.
- Write a lot! This is the best way to become a better writer. And yes, blogging and journalling count, it doesn't always have to be a novel chapter or a short story.
- Read, read, read. And step outside your genre. It'll help you become a better writer.
- Vary words so you don't keep repeating the same ones.
- Don't use flowery sentences, get rid of any unnecessary words, and use simple words.
- Schedule regular writing time, and show up at your desk!
- Don't go mad with dialogue tags - a few well placed 'he said' or 'she replied' should be enough if the dialogue is well written.
- Read aloud, yes, read your writing aloud, test yourself.
- Try not to edit while you're writing your first draft (it has taken me years to master this one!) It makes a huge difference, and you'll get far more done.
- If a paragraph doesn't advance your story, delete it!
And here's a few tips to a happy life.
- Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy and nourish you.
- Trust your intuition - Go with your gut feeling.
- Acknowledge others and show you care - Spend quality time with the people that matter to you.