Polish Your Writing Skills: 10 Tips for Creative Writing
Do you like writing? Maybe you like it so much that you want to publish your own book one day. Maybe you don’t think about the importance writing at all.
However, no matter what your answer is, you have to remember that writing can help you in your life greatly.
Strong writing skills allow you to formulate thoughts better both on paper and in oral communication. You work with information better, prioritize it quicker, and you are able to write a good text, be it a resume, an essay or a novel.
That’s why if you’ve never considered polishing your writing skills, maybe you should change that. And if you do want to become a better writer, here’s what you can do.
1. Eliminate clichés.
Yes, everyone knows that clichés are bad for writing – yet somehow people keep using them.
Maybe this happens because some of them think that the clichés could them build a connection with their audience (the cliché is something familiar to everyone, after all). Maybe this happens because people don’t know that a certain cliché is one.
Either way, you should do your best to eliminate clichés from your writing as they make it look less interesting and unique than it is.
Memorize the clichés, double-check if you have your doubts and try replacing them with synonyms.
2. Read a lot.
That’s the most basic advice – and one of the most effective ones. A good writer always has someone to look up to, be it their favorite bloggers or novelists.
Moreover, reading good texts actually helps you write better as you see the good examples and memorize them. That’s probably the most pleasant way to improve your writing too.
3. Evaluate your time.
Writing is a skill that can be improved with practice. Lots of practice, actually.
However, some of us struggle with finding time for regular writing.
In order to fix this, you need to know how much time you usually spend on writing.
Find this out, evaluate your daily tasks and try to fit regular writing into your schedule.
Usually, it’s not like we actually don’t have time – we either think that it’s going to take more time than it actually takes or simply waste our time on less important tasks.
4. Be concise.
This tip works for both creative and business writing, though the definition of “concise” will be different in these two cases, of course.
In creative writing being concise means ensuring that the readers will understand exactly what you want to say.
It’s okay to add details and to be poetic, but you need to make sure that these details do help to see the whole picture instead of confusing the readers and driving them away from what you wanted to say.
5. Try freewriting.
Freewriting is a technique that helps many writers overcome the writer’s blog.
It’s quite simple: you write for some time (for example, for half an hour) or until you reach a certain limit (for example, 500 words or three pages).
The trick here is that you shouldn’t stop writing until you reach your goal – even if you don’t have any idea about what to write.
Sure, you’re going to struggle at first, but soon you’ll see that it isn’t as hard as it seems.
Moreover, that'll keep your mind working, making it easier for it to generate new ideas in the future.
6. Observe a lot.
These days not many people pay close attention to their surroundings, preferring to focus on media and gadgets instead.
However, observation is one of the most important tools for a creative writer. It helps us not only to find new ideas but to write persuasively.
We have to know how people behave to write the character the readers could relate to.
We have to mind so many details and to keep these details in mind – and the observation is just the right tool for that.
7. Work on your dialogues.
I’ve already mentioned that it’s important to know how people behave to write strong characters.
Keeping in mind how people talk is equally important. It might be surprising but actually many writers struggle with that.
Sure, we might think we know everything about talking – after all, we talk to people every day – yet somehow our written dialogues might still look unrealistic.
Maybe this happens because we become influenced by movies when people also don’t always have realistic conversations.
The reason, however, is not very important – it’s the solution that matters.
If you want to make your dialogues realistic, mind the way people actually talk while writing them and try reading them out loud. It would be easier to spot mistakes this way.
8. Focus on yourself.
Writers have to come up with new ideas and develop their existing plots. However, it could be hard if you don’t have enough time to focus on yourself.
Try spending some quality time with yourself. Turn off all the gadgets, meditate or take a bath or simply spend some time relaxing and letting your mind wander enough.
Sometimes we need to eliminate all the distractions and to be left alone if we want the ideas to come.
9. Do various exercises.
While freewriting is a great tool, it’s not the only tool you might use. There are various writing challenges (for example, the well-known NaNoWriMo) and exercises that help to turn writing routine into an interesting quest.
I won’t recommend any specific exercises to you as I think that everyone should choose them themselves. Look for these techniques online and try the ones that appeal to you the most.
Nowadays we have all these proofreading tools to help us. However, while they help us with grammar and sometimes even with style, they aren’t nearly as effective when it comes to spotting the logical flaws or your weak points in writing.
The best way to proofread your texts is to put them away for a while and then return to them, reading them out loud and crossing out everything that doesn’t look right.
So if you want to become a better writer, try these tips and see what happens. Hopefully, they’ll help you strengthen your writing skills and even enjoy the process.
This post was written by Jake Lester. If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section below or tweet at him @JakeLesterHere.