Monday, 23 April 2012

T is for Tips on Writing 2

I thought I'd share some tips I've picked up along the writing road...
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Read, read, read. And step outside your genre. It'll help you become a better writer.
  4. Vary words so you don't keep repeating the same ones.
  5. Don't use flowery sentences, get rid of any unnecessary words, and use simple words. 
  6. Schedule regular writing time, and show up at your desk!
  7. 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.
  8. Read aloud, yes, read your writing aloud, test yourself.
  9. 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.
  10. If a paragraph doesn't advance your story, delete it! 
And here's a few tips to a happy life.
  1. Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy and nourish you.
  2. Trust your intuition - Go with your gut feeling.
  3. Acknowledge others and show you care - Spend quality time with the people that matter to you.
Please share your tips with me by leaving a comment.


  1. Don't just have others critique yours, but also critique others. I've found the process has improved my work 110%. It's hard to not edit while I write. I need to practice not doing it so I won't get so bogged down.

  2. The listening ear is just another avenue to improving your writing. By critiquing others you learn so much. If you are not part of one already, then try and join a writing group where members critique one another's work.
    A good tip to keep you self appraising your work when writing, especially fiction is : REMEMBER THAT THE READER SHOULD FORGET THAT THEY ARE READING. You'll soon pick up the clunky words, overwriting and stilted dialogue.

  3. Great post Maria. Some practical tips which are a big help to writers. Hope you're well. Ange xx

  4. Great post, and great tips! I'm reading Connie Hale's "Sin and Syntax" (blogged about it a while back, too) and I've found her guidelines on "modern" prose resonate with my style and voice. About 7 of the tips you mention here are also in her book, and they really do make a difference.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have to read aloud all the time, and I feel silly doing it but it helps eliminate mistakes that may have stayed otherwise.

  6. as for number 5--it's okay to use metaphors, in my opinion, to describe emotion! ;)

    A to Z co-host

  7. These are great tips! I especially like read, read, read - anything and everything. You never know when something is going to fix a problem or trigger a wonderful idea.

    Happy A-Z!

  8. Bethie - Couldn't agree more!

    Christine - Thank you!

    Keith - Overwriting seems to be a fault with me, but hopefully I'll learn one day...with a little help from my writing buddies.

    ange - Yes, well but VERY tired, thank you for popping over to the blog. We have to catch up very soon.

    Guilie - Thank you, not heard of that book, will look it up, also going to pop over to your blog to read that post you mentioned.

    Libby - Agree reading aloud feels silly but well worthwhile.

    Madeline - I wish I had more time to read

  9. Great tips - I love reading aloud, it really helps work out where things are going wrong. Of course, I have to wait until the house is empty or I get strange looks!

  10. Annalisa - Yes, I get odd looks too.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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