Jul 222008
 

How do you make your writing better? These tips range from “make every word count” to “reveal yourself in your writing.”

Before the tips, a quip:

“Of course, everyone who submits a book thinks it’s good and deserving of publication, critical accolades, and brisk sales,” writes Pat Walsh in 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might. “But, clearly, that’s true only a very small percentage of the time.”

The best way to get your book published is to keep focusing on ways to improve your writing! Read 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might – it’ll help you write a better book.

And, here are six ways to become a better writer….




6 Ways to Make Your Writing Better

1. Write deliberately. Every section, chapter, paragraph, sentence and word moves your story or article forward. “It may be my background in newspapering, but I believe the best way to tell a story is the shortest way possible,” writes Walsh in 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published. When you write your article or book, make sure every word has a specific job to do. Remember that you’re writing to get published!

2. Write solidly and sharply. “As a test, open your manuscript to any random page and read a few paragraphs to yourself. Does it have informational value? Is the writing, particularly the verb, sharp?” asks Walsh. Another way to make your writing better is to make sure one paragraph leads naturally to the next, by using transitional words and ideas.

3. Write honestly. It’s difficult to reveal yourself in your writing, especially if you’re sensitive to rejection or criticism, but authenticity hooks readers. “Readers appreciate writing that has personality and voice that seems like it was written by a fellow human,” writes Walsh in 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published.

4. Learn to accept objective feedback. To make your writing better, you need to read your writing with an objective eye. To edit your own writing, you must set aside all thoughts of the hours you’ve already put into the article or book. You need to ignore your ego and see your writing for what it is. “A committed writer is always looking for constructive – often negative – feedback instead of empty praise,” writes Walsh. Consider joining a writer’s group for feedback.

5. Do extensive background preparation. “The serious writer will do the gritty work ahead of time, ensuring a more productive experience,” writes Walsh in 78 Reasons. “Doing the tough stuff – which is often the most tedious – is what will separate you from the pack. Everything you do in order to get published is a considered act with as little dependence on good luck as possible, from the carefully written cover letter to the specific list of recipients.”

6. Learn to edit and revise your writing. To make your writing better, rewrite your chapters, articles, or poems as many times as you can! When I write articles for magazines such as Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, MSN Health, and Spirituality and Health, I edit every day until I really, honestly can’t write them any better. This takes about five to seven edits.

For more writing tips, read Story Writing Help – 6 Ways to Write Better Fiction.

Do you have any questions or thoughts on these ways to make your writing better? Fire away below…

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (but I wish my name was Rosie Frost!). I'm a bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer. My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher, Mr Merritt, always used to ask me that. And I am happy - despite a difficult childhood (schizophrenic mother, no father, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian.

How is your life unfolding - what do you need? I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion.... Laurie

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