Friday, August 2, 2013

Ethan McKenzie – Ten Tips of How To Become A Better Writer

Ten Tips of How To Become A Better Writer

by Ethan McKenzie

Anyone who has ever tried to write stories knows that development is important. It is a great thing that you want to improve your writing skills and you are willing to learn new things and are open to new ideas. Here you can find ten useful tips which help you become a better writer.

First of all, you need to read a lot. Read as many books as you can. It is not only enjoyable and relaxing; by reading books, you learn how to create a good structure for your stories, how to compose sentences, how to describe your characters to make them real. If you read plenty of books, chances are that you are good at grammar, you have an extended vocabulary, and your spelling is flawless.

Read books of any genre. Read classics, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, gothic literature, pulp fiction. You can learn something from every genre and every single book.

Practice makes perfect. Write a lot. Write a diary, write short stories, it does not matter if it is not meant for an audience. Get up ten minutes earlier and write about your thoughts; write about anything that comes to your mind. It helps you express your thoughts. It makes your text flow.

Honesty and authenticity are important. Actually, this is probably the most important part of your success in writing. If you want to write great stories – and who would not want that –, then write about subjects that you adore and admire. You need to be truly interested in your story, its subjects, and its characters. This is the X factor that makes the difference between a fairly good story and a great fiction. Your writings reflect your persona. If your writings are in harmony with your innermost persona, then it will show. Your readers will just love your fictions.

Give your works a nice, well-composed structure. A good story needs to have a riveting introduction, adventures and challenges for the characters, and, in the end, a spectacular climax full of tension, and a short aftermath. Put your characters through difficult situations. Give them as much difficulties as you can think of, and see how they react, how they solve these problems.

Instead of naming certain traits of a character, you should just describe their acts and habits that will highlight these traits. Instead of saying “she was hard working and studious”, write “she got up early, she did a thorough research on every school project, she studied until midnight every day, and spent hours by reading books and taking notes preparing for her tests”.

Be careful with dialogues. They should be simpler and shorter than sentences in the narrative. This makes the situation look natural and real. Do not let your characters use stilted, long sentences. Make sure that the language they use fits them. A gangster will not use the same language as a priest does.

Do not use too many adverbials.

Do not add scenes that are unnecessary. If you have already shown in one scene that your character is strong, we do not need three more scenes to emphasize this.

Keep your writings and your sentences short and neat. Do not use too many words if you could say the same thing with much less words. Think of Hemingway. Of course, you may use more sophisticated language – Lovecraft did so, and he wrote wonderful stories –, but do not be repetitive.

Write about believable, real characters. Readers do not need clichés and Mary Sues. An actual character has flaws. Your characters do not need to be great looking, warm, down-to-earth, happy, and innocent. They are allowed to be sulky, envious, angry, arrogant, or awkward. They may have fears or imperfections. Just do not forget, instead of telling about their traits, you should describe them. Tell about their habits, their unique characteristics. Remember – your characters are not just “smart and kind, love classical music”, they are “near-sighted, short, and plump, they often eat chocolate, they always listen to Mozart, they can memorize any details quickly, and they love Sudoku and mathematics”.

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Genre – Medical Suspense Thriller

Rating – PG

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