Do you dream of becoming a great novelist?
Or do you just want to learn how to express yourself more consistently?
Whether you’re writing fiction prose or just high school essays, you can always take our advice and take a few steps toward excellence.
To become a great – or just a good – writer, you need to know a lot and constantly hone your skills.
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Use strong words
Good literary language, whether we’re talking about a novel or a school essay, is a language that is precise, memorable, and carries an element of surprise.
Find the right adjective or verb, and an unremarkable sentence will turn into a brilliant phrase that people will remember and quote years later.
Choose the most accurate words possible.
Try not to repeat the same word over again, unless you want to create a particular rhythm that way.
The exception is words that describe dialogue.
They probably taught you in school that you can’t use “said” and “said” all the time, but too many synonyms will make reading difficult and distract the reader from the line of dialogue.
If you can’t do without them, at least lean toward the emotionally neutral “asked” and “answered.” But it’s better to let your dialogue have a minimum of the author’s words: mark at the beginning where someone’s line is, and then let the characters speak for themselves.
Strong and vivid words – do not mean complex or poorly understood.
Clichés are phrases, thoughts, or turns of phrases that are used so often that they have become platitudes.
They are usually so general that the reader doesn’t even remember them.
Whether you’re writing a fiction text or a documentary, getting rid of clichés will only benefit it.
Avoid clichés when writing about yourself.
The phrase “I’m a communicative person” doesn’t say anything specific about you.
But say that you easily find a common language with people, including in the truest sense, as he grew up in a bilingual family and as a child had time to live in six countries, and the reader will immediately understand what you are.
Read to write
Choose one or ten good books. Whether you’re writing an epic novel, an article in a popular science magazine, or a winning essay for college, get to know the outstanding works of your genre.
It will improve your writing.
Read and reflect on the work of great and important writers to see what can be put into words and what will resonate with readers.
Immersing yourself in good literature will increase your vocabulary, broaden your horizons, and feed your imagination.
Pay attention to the different ways of storytelling and the different construction of works.
Try to compare the approaches of different authors to the same topic, and see what they have in common and what the differences are.
The better you know how differently the same thoughts can be conveyed to the reader, the more diverse and original you can write yourself.
Go to the theater. Plays are written to be put on stage.
If you can’t understand and feel a literary work, see a production of it.
If you can’t find a production, read the work aloud.
Get into the thoughts of the characters.
Listen to how the language sounds.
Read magazines, newspapers, blogs–whatever. Literature is not the only source of ideas.
The real world is full of amazing people, places, and events from which your writing mind can draw inspiration.
It pays for a good writer to be aware of the most important events of the day.
Learn to be less influenced. It happens all the time: you read a brilliant novel and immediately want to write your own.
But when you sit down at your desk, you notice that your style is unoriginal, as if you are only imitating the author you just read.
Learn from the greats – but develop your voice.
To get it going again, do an exercise in free-writing technique (write down all your thoughts in a row without reflecting or correcting), reread your past essays, or just take a walk.
Buy a notebook. Not just any notebook, but one with a sturdy hardcover so you can carry it with you all the time.
An idea can visit you anywhere, and you need to get that fast-flowing idea down on paper before you forget it.
Finish your notebook and start a new one. When the notebook is finished, write the dates and contents of the notebook on the cover so that the next time your inspiration needs a boost, you can easily find the notes you need.
Join a writing community. One of the best ways to develop your skills and stay motivated is to connect with others and get feedback on your work.
Find an interest group, association, or writers’ club in your town or online.
Members of these communities usually read each other’s work and then discuss what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what and how to improve.
You may find that not only getting feedback from others but also voicing your own opinions will be a valuable lesson and help improve your skills.
Meetings and discussions don’t just exist for writers of fiction! Academic writing skills can also be improved by giving them to friends or colleagues to read.
In addition, such collaboration motivates you to share your ideas and listen to others.
Write every day. Keep a journal or blog, write letters to friends, or just set aside an hour to write about anything.
Pick a topic and get started.
The topic isn’t important-it’s important to sit down and write.
And write again.
And write again.
Writing takes practice: it’s like a muscle that can only be strengthened and built up by regular practice.
Come up with a story. Choose a topic and sketch the outline of your story.
It doesn’t have to be detailed, just set the direction in which the story will develop.
Write an outline. You probably really want to start writing right away and figure out plot lines and twists as you go along.
Don’t do that!
Even the simplest outline will help you visualize the big picture and save you many hours of rewriting.
Start with a general outline and gradually develop it.
Lay the groundwork for your story, populate it with at least the main characters so far, and define the location, time, and atmosphere.
If some part of the plan can’t be described in a few words, break it up into subparagraphs and work on each one separately.
Write the first draft. Now you’re ready to get down to the story itself-the the first draft.
Build on the outline and breathe life into your characters and narrative.
Don’t get stuck at this stage. While you’re writing the draft, you don’t have to think long and hard about each wording-it’s not crucial right now.
It’s much more important to collect and lay out all your thoughts.
Finish the first draft. Don’t take too long to polish up the details, just let the story unfold on paper.
Don’t go back and rewrite the scenes involving her until you finish the first draft.
Rewrite. Remember that this was only the first draft?
Now you have to rewrite everything from the beginning, this time already knowing all the details of the story, which will make your characters more realistic and believable.
Now you know what he’s doing on the plane and why she’s dressed like a punk.
Write it all the way through. By the time you finish the second draft, you’ll already have a full picture of your story, its characters, the basis, and the side storylines.
- Creativity must bring joy. Or not, the work should be born in agony.
It all depends on who you ask.
You can feel uplifted or you can feel devastated.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for how to write and how to feel about it.
Find your way.
- If at first, you don’t like the idea, give it a chance – it might take you somewhere.
- Don’t be embarrassed if the first draft is no good. It’s rarely a good one.
Keep that in mind when you read it, and edit without regret!
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- Try to go with the flow. But don’t overdo it, because otherwise you’ll miss details or your thoughts will become too hard to read.
Control your mind at all times.
Choose your words carefully. There is no quicker way to appear illiterate than to use a word in the wrong sense and the wrong context.
If you are unsure of a word, look it up in a dictionary and make sure you understand its meaning and possible connotations correctly.
Don’t plagiarize! Misappropriating someone else’s words or ideas is a serious violation of ethics and even the law in science, journalism, and literature.
If you are caught plagiarizing, you can be expelled, fired, blacklisted from publishing, or taken to court.
Never do this.