How to Become a Better Writer
Let your writing be your key to self-expression.
“Maybe the truth is, there's a little bit of loser in all of us. Being happy isn't having everything in your life be perfect. Maybe it's about stringing together all the little things.” ~Ann Brashares
I am still locked down in Loserville with nothing to do to occupy my time. I read news stories and blog posts daily, or is the politically correct term articles?
I wouldn’t know, I am just a total loser. What do I know about politics?
According to Stephen King, reading is a great way to become a better writer. By reading news stories that were written by professional journalists, and books written by well-known authors, you will learn proper sentence structure, and flow of words.
I have decided to occupy my time by trying my hand at writing fiction stories. Even though I am a total loser in real life, from behind my keyboard letting my written words express my thoughts and creativity I can become a great writer.
I will need to start small of course. Not just short story small, but an even shorter version of fiction-writing known as flash fiction.
According to EBook Guidance Flash Fiction is a short-short story that has no set word count, but it is generally accepted that flash fiction stories are under 1,500 words. Flash fiction is also known as postcard fiction, nano-tales, short-short stories, micro fiction, micro stories, or quick fiction.
Writing a story under 1,500 words seems like an easily accomplished task with a little helpful advice on creating a setting, conflict, and conclusion that readers find interesting.
Some helpful tips from Become a Writer Today are:
Use a proven writing prompt.
I believe many writers experience writer’s block. I have experienced it myself many times. Sometimes a helpful idea to get our creative juices flowing is all we need. Once we are given a few details of an interesting plot idea for a story, our imagination will take over and create a story from there.
Learn to self-edit
Self-editing is a helpful skill to improve our writing ability. There are many great software programs to help us with this task such as Grammarly. There is a free version of it that you can use right on Grammarly’s website. The free version will point out some, but not all of your mistakes.
Grammarly has a premium version that will show you how to fix all of your mistakes.
Write a book
This means to me we should write a book, not just articles for our blog. Writing a book is a different writing style then just writing a short article. Keeping your focus on setting, conflict, and character development requires a different mindset. When writing a book you have to keep your story flowing smoothly to hold your reader’s attention for the duration of the book.
Readers who read your article are looking for helpful information that is straight and to the point, so they can take action on it right away.
Study Great Writers
I enjoy reading. Being a total loser I have spent many nights alone just reading. Paying attention to the way other writers write their novels and their writing voice will help you improve your writing skills by looking at the words they use, and the words they avoid such as adverbs.
Helpful advice from Reedsy includes
Even Pantzers need a plan
There are two types of writers, Pantzers, and Plotters. Pantzers just write by the seat of their pants without having an outline of how their story will develop and conclude. Plotters have their whole story outlined, and only have to follow step by step the path set forth in their outline to complete their story.
According to Reedsy even Pantzers have to have some idea about the direction of their story.
Introduce Conflict Early
Conflict is what makes your story worth reading. It can be man against man, man against nature, or man against himself, but some sort of turmoil has to be going on to grab your reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading.
The sooner this conflict is shown to your readers the better. If you are spending several paragraphs creating a setting with no emotional interjections to intrigue your readers then your book will be no more valuable to your readers than kindling for their next camping trip.
Show Don’t Tell
This is popular advice given by authors and teachers. Many authors make the mistake of telling instead of showing, at least in their first draft. The best way to show is to create an interaction between one of your characters and their environment. Let me give you an example.
Telling: Sean hated the winter and walking through the snow to get home.
Showing: Sean could see his breath as he walked home. He pulled up the collar on his jacket, but he was still unbearably cold. There was a scorned look on his face as he got home and stomped the snow off of his boots.
See the difference?
Write Now Edit Later
“You can’t edit a blank page.” ~Jodi Picoult
The most important first step is to get your words down. Don’t worry about having perfect grammar, just get it done. You can always go back and edit it later. Your first draft will never be perfect.
Having several pages of incoherent gibberish to clean up and rewrite into a literary work of art is better than having a blank page to turn into a story.
Get your ideas down, and use your editing skills to clean the mess later.
Just Keep Writing
All writers will experience writer’s block and be at a loss for words. The best cure is to keep writing. If you just start writing freestyle by allowing yourself to write anything that is on your mind soon your mind will be filled with creativity to write the story you have always wanted to write.
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