1. writerr
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    writerr New Member

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    What is your #1 writing tip?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by writerr, Jun 30, 2013.

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm working on a blog post about writing tips, and I want to add some comments from others.

    Please share with me what your #1 writing tip is for people who are looking to improve their talents. Thanks so much!
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Find a place where there is no internet connection and where you cannot leave from that place easily to go find a place with internet connection.
     
  3. Scot McPhie
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    Scot McPhie Member

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I can so relate to this. :D

    But I do OK, writing stresses me and flipping over to the forum is a stress relief. The key is balance and I keep believing I will find it. ;)


    So back to tips. It's very individual, what works for each person. So my key advice is look at all the advice including books and blogs on how to write and pick the ones that work for you. Don't be disappointed that they all don't fit your writing style.

    My personal style is to write the piece with all its faults, think on it (I also get critique help here), and do my best to verbalize the flaws. Then I bounce those flaws off my son who has turned out to be a wealth of directional advice. I take his insight, apply it and rewrite the section.

    I continue to edit over and over until I'm only editing a tiny fraction but in the meantime I move on to the next section/chapter.

    I just went back to reread some of the stuff that has gone through this process and my own work made me laugh, I loved it. I really am getting there. :D Yay! I should post in the Happy Thread.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read everything you can get your mitts on, with an eye to what is and is not effective.
     
  6. A.Tad.of.Conrad
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    A.Tad.of.Conrad Member

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    Write every day. Writing crap is better than writing nothing.

    Write with purpose. If what you're writing has no point or has been done before, then why are you (and the eventual reader) wasting your time on it?

    Read crap and read classics. Analyze poor and good uses of words, plot, characters etc. Learning what not to do is nearly as important as learning what to do.
     
  7. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Read the masters of short story fiction.
     
  8. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Read and write a lot every day.
     
  9. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    It's all about the hero's goal. They should always be working toward that thing they want so badly (and they must want it BADLY). Stasis is death.
     
  10. circ
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    circ New Member

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    Agreed.
     
  11. UnrealCity
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    UnrealCity Active Member

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    My #1 writing tip

    When learning to write, whether it be short stories, novels or poetry, etc, recognize that it takes practice and time. Writing is a skill that can be learned and improved through practice and time.
     
  12. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    Finish it.
     
  13. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I relate to this on a deep level. :p


    My advice, don't write a story unless the idea of not writing it causes you pain. Write a story you desperately want to tell.
     
  14. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    My #1 rule:

    In writing there are -apart from grammar and spelling- no rules, only guidelines.

    Sure, there is very solid advice around but you'll find that there is some shape or form of contradiction between these writing rules. Like someone else said, its about balance.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    This is not frivolous advice. Read.

    Read a lot. Read whatever you like to read. A lot. Read a lot.

    You'll develop an ear and eye for what works and what doesn't. It's the ONLY way you will.

    When you go to apply the mechanics of creative writing to your own work, the 'rules' and suggestions will make sense. You'll also develop an instinct for good grammar, spelling and how to spot errors.

    Wanting to be a writer without first being a reader, is like wanting to be a musician but never listening to music. Doesn't really work, most of the time.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can't pick one so I'll give you the three things I always tell people who ask me for help writing-wise, and which one you think is best just use that:

    1) Read everything you can get your hands on, good or bad - sometimes reading bad literature can be better than reading good.

    2) Read not just the good, but the great - the classics, not classics as in Moll Flanders or Pride and Prejudice, but real classics like Homer and Virgil. If you can be bothered I'd also advise you to try and learn a second language, especally Latin as it'll open up new writers and ideas. In the case of Latin it'll open up to you writes who have remained with us for some very good reasons.

    3) Most important of all actually: write. And work hard on your writing. Nobody is going to care about a piece that is clearly the result of passive, blasé effort. Nobody cares about kitsch. If you at least tried your best people will take you seriously, and then will be more disposed to help you. People respect hard work. That might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised.

    Edit: added tip, and apparently one I still need to follow myself, re-read what you have just wrote. You'll hopefully avoid a howler like I just had in the original version of this post. I had the sentence 'reading bad literature can be better than reading bad'. Glad I spotted it before I closed it! Wow. :p
     
  17. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Practice the art of writing as much as you can. After every project you successfully complete, you'll be surprised by how much you learn.
     
  18. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Read, trust me, i made this mistake with twinsanity, which is why ive left it for a while, im now flipping the coin and reading a lot, Rob Zombies new book - The Lords Of Salem, Steven Kings books, anything that has even a remote similarity to what you are trying to write, im even looking to get book versions of the Halloween series (if such things exist) try to find films, books, anything that is even remotely connected and read/watch

    oh and practise, Practise makes Perfect as they say
     
  19. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Go to a place with no internet connection? Why would you do that? The internet has a wealth of information on writing--I use it hand-in-hand everyday when I write.

    I mean, I completely understand your reasoning. But just have some self-control to stay off forums and Facebook for a few hours. :p

    It's worth it even just for online dictionaries and thesauri--for the speed and ease of use.
     
  20. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's your advice? Go and look for advice!

    Totally agree with Wreybies - turn off the damned internet! Although I need it on for research... or at least that's my excuse :)
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with "read a lot" and "writing takes practice" - so I think I would add "Quit talking about it and start writing it."
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only thing I learn from reading is what not to do, maybe I'm reading the wrong stuff.
     
  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I would say so! :)
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Trust your gut. Shape your novel but don't force it too much in one direction - if it's not going the way you had planned, then perhaps you should review it and consider, rather than thinking the book isn't working - perhaps it's actually your PLAN that's wrong. Rather change the plan, but don't force your story into the mould if it's just not working. It all ends in pain and regret if you do.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I know I already responded, but another thing came to mind...

    Don't throw anything away, no matter how silly or crappy you think it may be.


    This is actually something I learned in my work as a translator. Just when you think something that will never serve a purpose in the future, here comes that purpose a'knockin'. My work requires meticulous attention to detail, and sitting down to recreate a form that you know you've done before, and failed to keep as a template, is a painful experience. ROI, right down the drain. You know you could have turned out the product in minutes instead of hours, had you only been a tad more thrifty.
     

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