Thoughts and Inspiration for Creative Writers

-from Chrysalis Editorial

Three Steps to Improve Your Writing

Posted on | July 26, 2012 | 1 Comment

We all have bad habits. Some people bite their nails, some leave dirty dishes in the sink, and some forget to foreshadow significant events in their novels.

Of course, we all have ways of coping and working to better ourselves, right? The dirty dishes can just start going into the dishwasher. People can start chewing toothpicks rather than their fingernails. Novelists can what? If you’ve ever felt simply stumped as to how to begin catching yourself at your own game when it comes to writing, here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Blogger Roz Morris suggests that, for those pesky words that just get stuck in your head and end up showing up over and over again in your writing, try plugging pages into a Wordle. Wordles are easy to use (and, best of all, free!) and can help you spot moments of unintended repetition you might be missing even after editing and reading the work aloud.
  2. For those writers who find themselves trapped at that most dreaded of traffic jams in life Writer’s Block — blogger Jeanine Henning suggests that you Get Out and Get Weird! Author Alice Mattison once said that when a scene became difficult for her in writing The Book Borrower, she had to abandon (temporarily) her computer, switch to her typewriter and had to write it in a different room. Sometimes I think the things we write are located in the air above us. But sometimes, for some reason, there’s a column of air somewhere else that we have to get under in order to receive a piece of writing. In other words, don’t be afraid to stand up, do the hokey-pokey-and-shake-yourself-about, and get into a change of scenery, change of mind, and change of air. (The rest of Mattison’s explanation can be found with Glimmer Train in their 2010 Close-Up: Approaches to Writing on page 2.)
  3. And for those of you who feel as though your plot is dragging or a character is suddenly acting strangely, why not go for this classic exercise: try writing in the style of another author. Of course, the key to this exercise is to go for an author whose style is truly different from yours, perhaps even a style you don’t particularly care for. Here are a few go-to’s of mine: James Sallis’ Drive; James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson; and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

What are your favorite writing tips? What advice has made all the difference to you in your writing life?

Contributed by K.C. Mead, Editorial Assistant, Chrysalis Editorial

Comments

One Response to “Three Steps to Improve Your Writing”

  1. Dina
    September 15th, 2015 @ 2:32 pm

    Great interview. I would love to win this book beusace I really really want to read it. It sounds amazing. I’ve been so caught up in all the vampire romance books and shifters that they are tending to run into eachother. I’ve been dying to read a story with Fallen angels or just something outside the regular vampires. I need something fresh with a new twist and this sounds like it is right up my alley. Thanks for the chancejune111@att.net

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