Whether you want to be the next Stephen King, William Faulkner, or you want to write blog posts like us, you can’t get there without some basic rules. If you want to follow in other great writer’s footsteps, here are our top 10 tips for beginner writers.What are the top 10 writing tips for beginners? We thought we would collect the tips that helped us become the writers we are today. Learn more in the following post! Click To Tweet
What are the top 10 writing tips for beginner writers?
The most important writing tip is to make it a habit. Writing is one of those skills that requires constant care. Both reading and writing are important to improving your skills. Good writers use most if not all of these tips:
- Write Every Day
- Read Often
- Use Simple Language
- Write First, Edit Later
- Read What You Want To Write
- Avoid Cliches
- Be Ruthless When Editing
- Use Active Voice Whenever Possible
- Ask For Criticism
- Use Spellcheck Tools Like Grammarly
1) Write Every Day
You need to write every day if you want to be good at it. Like any skill writing takes practice. But how do you start writing every day? One of the best ways is to keep a private journal.
A lot of people keep journals to write down their thoughts, or what happened to them during that day. Another way to get into the habit of writing is to do creative writing exercises. There are a lot of writing prompts on the internet, so look for some of those to get your mind working.
2) Read Often
All great writers read. Reading is one of the easiest and fastest ways to sharpen your skills as a writer. The best advice we can give you is to read everything and read often. Different genres can impart different wisdom to you.
Not only should you read everything, but you should pay attention to how you are reading. The more you write, the more you can identify different writing skills and styles.
3) Use Simple Language
Simple is always better when writing. Think about how you read. When a complex sentence comes up, it is harder to focus on as a reader. Reading writers like Faulkner is difficult because his sentences are so complex.
That being said, you need some variety in your writing. Reading sentences that are the same length can be boring after a while. Our advice is to keep your writing simple, but add a sprinkling of variety into your piece.
4) Write First, Edit Later
When you are sitting down to write it can be tempting to edit as you go. This does work for some people, but for most this interrupts your writing flow. The end product you produce will be more thought out and better if you just write first, and then edit later.
In this instance, it is up to you which way you go. If editing as you go is going to keep you more engaged with your writing process, then that is what you should do. Everyone works differently, and it is up to you to find what works best.
5) Read What You Want To Write
Earlier we said to read everything to sharpen your general writing skills. That advice still rings true, but we would also say to read the kind of thing you want to write. If you want to read short stories, read lots of short stories. If you want to write a high fantasy novel, read a lot of high fantasy novels.
At ITVibes, we read a lot of blog posts from other sources. This helps us pick what the best format is for us to use, and it helps ensure that we are putting out the best product we can.
6) Avoid Cliches
People say this so much that it is almost becoming a cliche to say this, but it is so true. Avoid cliches when you can. Sayings like, “Blind as a bat” or “kiss and make up” are so overused, it becomes a signal to your audience to check out. Cliches hide your unique voice when you use them.
7) Be Ruthless When Editing
This is especially applicable to writing a book. Once you are done writing your work, it is time to take the writing hat off and put your editing hat on. Cut anything that doesn’t make sense, fix grammar mistakes, and check your spelling closely.
You may have heard the saying, “kill your babies,” which means that even if you like a piece of your work a lot, you need to cut it if it doesn’t fit.
8) Use Active Voice Whenever Possible
Many people say to never use passive voice. In most instances, this is solid advice, but there are certain cases where passive voice is the best thing to use. These cases are rare, but they do happen. If you are trying to convey a feeling of powerlessness, using a passive voice can be powerful.
For the most part, active voice is the way to go. It is much more powerful to say, “Jan pushed the box,” than to say, “The box was pushed by Jan.”
9) Ask For Criticism
One of the hardest things for people to do is to ask for criticism. Criticism is hard to take, especially when the person who is criticizing you is not being gracious. But, constructive criticism can greatly improve your writing. Go to people you trust when you are ready, and they will help make your writing as strong as it can be.
10) Use Spellcheck Tools Like Grammarly
Things like Grammarly, spellcheck and other grammar tools are useful for catching the mistakes you miss. These tools help us recognize the mistakes that we consistently make. As useful as these tools are, remember that it is still important to check your work yourself. These tools don’t pick up on tone, plot holes, and the flow of your piece.
Time To Write
Now that you have these tips, go write! Remember that all of this will not come together at once, but the more you practice, the better you will be.
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