Every writer, big or small, wants to improve their writing. It’s part of the joy and excitement that writing entails, there is always a way to grow or improve. The most commonly given advice to anyone who hopes to develop their skills is simply to write, and write, and write, and write some more.
While this is very truthful, and useful, advice there are a few tips that can help enhance your writing right now;
- Get to the point – No matter what style of writing you prefer it is best to make your point clear as quickly as possible. If you can not express yourself clearly in a few words you run the risk of losing your reader along the way. This is not to say that everything you write should be a short, concise piece with minimal word usage, description is a great thing, but when you have taken the time to write seven lines of detailed description before even touching your topic, character, or position chances are your reader will either bore, or be confused, and simply give up reading. Be sure that your point is clear before you start to elaborate on it further. Remember those lessons in English class about having a topic sentence for you essay? View everything you write from the same mindset to avoid wandering off topic.
- Use easy-to-read paragraphs – Keeping your sentences and paragraphs to a minimum length will help the flow of reading your piece. Readers are drawn to clear, concise, easy-to-read pieces. Aim for shorter sentences that will promote speed, as well as retention, there isn’t much use in writing something easy to read without the reader retaining any of the information. Anywhere between 40-100 words is the ideal comfort level for reading.
- Watch your tone – We have all experienced a misunderstanding with the tone of someone’s writing. I am constantly misinterpreting the tone of my hubby’s text messages, and this can lead to confusion, and even anger at times. It is easy to forget that your readers my not be able to clearly catch the tone you are aiming for in your writing, sure you know that you are being sarcastic, humorous, or serious, but you need to ensure that you tone is clear to others. The best way to ensure this is to edit , edit, edit, and have someone else edit for you. Get a friend to read over you piece to see if they catch your tone clearly and have them express how the writing makes them ‘feel.’ A misunderstood tone can change the entire view of your writing. Take for example the sentence:
Am I angry? Teasing? Giggling playfully? Your readers won’t know unless you tell them, don’t assume that they will be able to figure out your tone on their own, make it easy for them to understand.
- Get Personal – This applies to anything that you write on various levels. When writing a story get close to your characters, you should know them inside and out. Create a character bio sheet and create endless amounts of information about each character so you can answer any questions that may arise. You should know your characters better than you know yourself. When writing other styles it is sometimes helpful to use personal opinions, or examples to connect with your readers. If someone is reading your piece chances are it is because they are interested in the topic you have written about, it is often helpful for the reader to see that someone else has experience with the topic they are interested in, and it helps them to connect with your writing on a more personal level. This advice goes hand in hand with the ‘write what you know’ advice writers are often given.
- Consider your audience – In anything that you write you must consider you target audience. You would not use big, extravagant words in a story for children, or an adult tone in a piece for teenagers, you must consider who will be reading your writing and aim to create an equal tone. This will help your audience better connect with your writing, better understand your point, and make them feel equal. One of the most amazing talents of a good writer is to be able to connect with their audience, and make them feel like they are listening to their best friend.
Consider all these factors before you begin your writing, and create an outline of the goals you wish to achieve. It is important that your readers feel your passion, and connect with your writing in order to relate to, and retain what they are reading. Planning before you write is the easiest way to ensure that you achieve simplicity, and flow in your writing, and that you reach your audience with the clarity you need to get your point across. When it comes to writing practice makes perfect so write, write, and write some more!
Until Next Time….
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