Here are 4 tips to Improve your Writing Skills
Writing just about anything can be a difficult task to some, and often they will find themselves writing something and then erasing it a few minutes later. Finding issues in one’s own work is not something exclusive to amateurs, it is something that even professional writers face. What a lot of novelists and writers will – or won’t – tell you, is that they usually come up with something abhorrent in their first draft, and over time, they develop their work into something that can be understood by others. Knowing that your initial work will be worth scrapping can be a good jumping-off point. However, improving oneself is never something to be ignored. To that end, here are a few tips on how to improve your work, with the goal not being perfection, but to kick off further development.
1. Start writing.
Practise makes perfect. Nothing can be improved if you do not perform it consistently. Establish a routine, and hone your craft as much as you can. You cannot transform yourself into an accomplished writer overnight, and even the most talented need to sharpen their skills. Stephen King wrote a lot of books and wrote them in quick succession. How did he do it? He practised! Why do you think it takes so long for some other writers to complete something? It is not like they haven’t spent years and years writing. Take George R.R. Martin as the most famous example of this. It has been more than nine years since his last big novel, and he still has yet to say anything definitive regarding its completion. However, he has written other novellas and whatnot, and he does not stop writing. People often seem to overlook that fact.
2. Read everything.
To some extent, everyone copies everyone else. It is simply how it goes. You must read everything. Everything. The trash, the classic literature, the critically acclaimed novels, the most hated ones, there should be no limit to what you read. To recognise what not to do, you have to learn what it is in the first place. As Clara Johnson said, “Writers are immortalized through their readers”, can one not ascertain that the same can be said if the writer is the reader? You develop your own skills through mimicking others, and from there, you can craft a signature style that defines you.
3. Keep things in moderation
There are a lot of ways to say one thing. That does not mean you should use everything you have at your disposal. There are many ways to say: ‘Read, learn, then write.’ I can tell someone that they can ‘devour the publications of the ancient enlightened to propagate a result of your own making’, or I can say: ‘read, learn, and then write’. Using overly complicated words can make things needlessly complex. Keep things simple, and put those big words in a select few places rather than sprinkling them all over your written work.
4. Let someone else see it
You can never really fully grasp what is wrong with your work unless you let someone else see it. After all, you know why you have put that one quote there, and what references to other words you are making. Others may not be able to grasp it because it wasn’t communicated clearly. The writer may also subconsciously ignore the errors and read what they have written correctly, it happens. Scrutinising your work is not enough; another pair of eyes can ensure that you do not put something completely incomprehensible out. Professional writers have a team of editors that review their work, and pure human nature necessitates such due processes.