Tips for Better Writing Part 2

Good to see you all back here. In part one of Tips for Better Writing, I talked about getting an idea that you are interested in and is sustainable for you to write, showing the audience things through situations and dialogue, rather than telling them outright, and listening to the way people speak to make your character’s dialogue that much more realistic. Hopefully you found those things useful. Let’s move on now and look at three other tips that could help you develop as a writer.

4. Finding the Voices Inside

No, I don’t mean in a way which requires medical attention. But I do mean it almost literally. Every character that you write should have a voice. Sometimes it will be close to your own, sometimes it will be far away. In the same way that a tennis player or footballer gets into focus for a game, you as a writer need to get into focus too. All of your main characters should have a voice. Everybody’s voice is distinct – the way people speak and their mannerism, idioms they use, endearments, abbreviations and much much more. These all change the way people are. How does your main character speak? How do they sound? All of that is important to shape the character and their responses and to make them as real in the mind of the reader as any living person. To do that, you need to know what that voice is and let yourself hear it when you write the character’s dialogue.

5. Love Your Characters

But knowing the voice is only part of the deal. You have to love your characters – even the evil ones. And what do you do when you love someone? You want to know more about them, every little detail of their life, every scratch on their skin, every hair on the head. Know your characters – know more about them than anyone could reasonably expect you to know. Know more about them than you’ll ever refer to in writing them. The things that have happened to us shape us, they make us what we are. Your character’s past is important. More than that, though, if you don’t love you characters, why would you care what happens to them? And if you don’t care, why should the reader?

6. Writing is Editing, Editing is Writing

These two disciplines aren’t so distinct as you think. Sometimes you write a line of a script or an action in a book, and the inspiration just dries up. You can’t think what will happen next or what the other characters’ responses would be. Don’t panic. It’s your story after all – don’t be afraid to delete something and start over. Or change the way it’s written. Tinker and tailor. It’s the way forward, besides soldiering (spying doesn’t really come into it). Poor book based puns aside, don’t be afraid to reshape and edit your work even as you write it. Sometimes it’ll smooth out the kink and make the story flow better. But have confidence in your work too, don’t delete bits for the sake of it. Try not to be over-critical. But if you need to edit, then edit. It’s your job, just as much as the storytelling. Writing is editing. Editing is writing.

So, there you have it, three more tips for you. But I’m not done yet. There’s one overall thing that will make your writing better. Call this a zeroth tip if you like – read & write. Read books, plays, poems, and any kind of writing you can get your hands on. Read things not in your line of taste, read things that are in your line of taste. Read, read, and then read some more. You’ll see how other writers have shaped their stories, what twists they’ve used. You can see what works and what really doesn’t. But more important – write, write, and write some more. You’re a writer, right? Well, get on with writing. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Practice does make perfect. Try writing something in a different style. Switch from prose to poetry. Have a bash at a screenplay. Try new techniques, new styles, new horizons. All of these things will help you recognise your writer’s voice, and use it to its full potential. Being a writer, when it comes to it, is about writing. So don’t stop writing!

One Response to “Tips for Better Writing Part 2”
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  1. […] that’s the first three tips, and you’ll have to wait until part two for the rest. In the meantime, happy writing! Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this […]

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