Six points to improve your writing

November 20, 2020

There are things that one should never take for granted: like these 6 points that will help you improve your writing skills and take you to another level.

Six points to improve your writing

You should never start a story talking about weather, Elmore Leonard told us so.

So how you should start writing something? 

Well, for that do not expect an answer: there's virtually none.  And the reason it's pretty simple, too. Isn't it? There is no real perfect way to write your own story, it all depends on you and on the story you want to write and the lives you want to create. No one could never, using a bit of intellectual honesty, tell you how you should write and what and whatnot. 

But then why the need for a guide that tells you how to improve and how to write? 

Because even if there's no such a thing as the perfect writing or a magic spell to make sure everything you write is good for everyone, there are a couple of things you can do to improve. 

And the funny thing is that the only judge needed is one: YOU!

You see, when you start on writing something, the first need that usually comes up in mind is "I have to get a feedback from someone. I must know what's good and what I should change" and that is totally fine, it's perfect. Feedbacks are great. 

The only problem is the rush. 

Whenever one's in a rush, it usually ends up in a silly and foreseeable way: the feedback is not so great. 

Because we didn't spend up time on polishing our work. 

So that's what we ought to do: polishing the text, improving ourselves and our works. 

How? Doing the opposite thing of the following list:

  • Using speech patterns; even though it's fine to have a little dialecticism or some intentional grammar mistakes spread across our work, it shouldn't be the norm. Stick with well-constructed sentences.

  • Poor punctuation; if you're not Joyce and you didn't intend to create a stream of consciousness in the first place, use punctuation and use it well. 

  • Straining to impress; DO NOT BE PRETENTIOUS. If it doesn't fit with your story, your characters, the bigger picture or with you as a writer don't use a certain vocabulary. There's no need to use a whole thesaurus to deliver your concept and convey your idea. Sometimes the simpler the better.

  • Mired in cliché; don't use cliché unless you do know one hundred percent what you're doing. Cliché can be used in powerful ways to critique society or to prove a specific point, but you must tame their power as they're a double-edge sword. If you are not confident enough, they can end up being silly, offensive and sometimes racist. 

  • Sentences too long; sometimes sentences need to be long and exhausting: it's just part of the scene or to create a certain emotion. When and if that is the case go ahead. But if that's not the case, read the points above, use it properly and keep it brief. 

  • Weak grammar and syntax; always, always check your grammar and syntax before to send your text to anyone. Friends, relatives, publisher don't want to come across errors upon errors. Remember to always use proper grammar. It's as important as the story itself.  And if you're not so sure about your abilities on proofreading your work, do not worry: there are plenty of grammar checkers out there. 

Just like I love to use Grammarly and ProWritingAid depending on what I'm writing for checking and sorting things out.

Try them out, I mean the free plans are not so bad and the premium version is affordable too. It will really help you out on your next, improved, stories. 

Johnson, R. (1995). Bad writing. In Improve your writing skills. Manchester, UK: Clifton Press.

improving, creative writing, grammar, punctuation, self-awareness