How can I sharpen my writing skills?

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Post by Guest »

Hello! I joined this forum so that I can have some writing tips. I desperately want to write a story but I don't have the writing skills and it's also very confusing when I reread my story..

It would be great if anyone could give me a few writing tips to make my writing better.

Post by Helen »

In no particular order, these are a few pointers which might help:

All stories need an arc, or shape, to them, a definite beginning, middle and end. The middle is where the majority of action takes place. To make a story exciting, think about creating high stakes. Make it difficult for the main character to get through an ordeal, whether it be danger, unrequited love, emotional damage, etc. Put obstacles in their way. Something should have changed between the beginning and end of the story.

Some people spend way too long introducing the story. Readers don't care about characters getting out of bed, or what they had for breakfast. Get into the story asap and make every detail relevant. If you mention weather/season, it should be because it impacts the main character in some way.

Watch how people move and react when faced with different circumstances. Can you translate these into words? Think about strong verbs rather than using adverbs.

Don't repeat words, or descriptions. Just say things once, in the most efficient way possible. Keep your writing tight. Sometimes this involves changing the word order in a sentence. Sentences should vary in length to avoid the reading experience being stilted.

Editing is important; don't be afraid to lose words, sentences, or paragraphs if they weaken the story. Every word you choose should be just right in order to create the right atmosphere and to propel the story forward.

Make the dialogue natural. In real life, people don't constantly address others by their names, for example. Keep your dialogue tags (he said, she said, etc) minimal as too many can jar the flow.

It's a really good idea to read short stories, especially those which have been listed in writing competitions. You will see how cleverly they have been put together and how plot devices work.

Remember, too, that a first draft is just that. Once you have the bare bones, then you have something to work on, and it will eventually go from good to great.

Good luck!

Post by Matt »

Read a lot, write a lot. The two Master Keys. Just like lifting weights, running, juggling etc.

Post by Wayne »

If you go to amazon kindle books you can buy any of several books on many different aspects of the craft. You will soon notice that one author will advocate one way of doing something, and another will advocate the complete opposite, and both can be useful. Take what you can use and discard the rest or put on the back burner for later.

Post by Andy »

The best advice is to read, read, read and practise, practice, practice.

Just these simple things will make you a better reader.

They will increase your vocabulary.

Your sense of how to put a plot together.



Post by Kyle »

Read books of authors who made you want to write. Practice writing no matter how bad you may think it is. It is a craft that needs action to improve. Hope this helps

Post by Michael »

I say start writing like you are telling someone the story. Let others read it and listen to what they say. If you agree with them use their suggestions. If not ignore them. You can't develop skills if you don't work at it. Just write what comes to you and worry about skill later.
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