Good Grammar and Bad Manners: Writing Tips for Handling Mistakes Made in Public

good grammar

Good grammar and good manners.

I’m a writer, but before I’m a writer, I’m a human being. And as a human being, sometimes I make mistakes.

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes — some big, some small. Today I want to talk about what happens when we, as writers, make a mistake in our work: a typo, an incorrectly structured sentence, or a misspelling.

When writers make mistakes like these, it can be embarrassing. Occasionally when I’m going through old posts here at Writing Forward, I’ll come across some typo or mistake and I’ll fix it.

I do everything I can to ensure that this happens as rarely as possible; I proofread everything I write from my blog posts to my comments, tweets, and emails. But sometimes, mistakes slip past. Read More

Writing Tips from Stephen King: Read and Write!

Stephen King on reading and writing.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

Writers Must Read

Stephen King’s statement is one of my favorite quotes on writing. It should be repeated often and expressed in as many ways as possible. Read More

10 Tips for Writing a Book

tips for writing a book

Tips for writing a book.

Writing a book is a big deal. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you want to do it right, which means creating something that people will find entertaining or useful and then polishing, marketing, and promoting it.

It all begins with an idea–a concept. It might start with a few characters or an intriguing plot you’ve dreamed up. It might start with an audience you want to write for or a topic you want to explore.

Many writers start writing as soon as an idea strikes. This approach works for some people, but for most of us, it’s a road to nowhere. If we attempt to write a book every time we get a good idea, we constantly leave previous ideas half finished. If we don’t stop to think about whether the idea is viable, we may get in over our heads or write a book that’s unpublishable or unsalable due to market saturation or lack of interest. Read More

The 22 Best Writing Tips Ever

writing tips

The best writing tips ever

Today, I’m sharing one of the oldest and most popular posts on Writing Forward. This one dates back to 2007, but it’s still one of the most-visited posts on the blog and one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy these writing tips and find them useful!

Brian Clark over at Copyblogger has issued a challenge to bloggers in his post “The Cosmo Headline Technique for Blogging Inspiration.”

The idea is to use headlines from magazines like Cosmopolitan for inspiration, and to write your headlines before composing your article.

I’ve taken Brian up on his challenge and as a result, I bring you the 22 best writing tips ever. Read More

Writing Tips from E.B. White: Write Now!

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.” – E. B. White

What are your ideal writing conditions? Is it quiet, or are there stimulating background noises? Are you alone, curled up in a chair with a pen and a notebook, or are you in a bustling café, gleaning inspiration from fellow patrons and a tasty meal or cup of coffee? Are you already rich and successful with all the time in the world to dedicate to your craft, or are you a starving artist, hungry to get that first publication credit, desperate to complete that first novel? Read More

10 Proofreading and Editing Tips

writing tips self-editing

Writing tips for self-editing.

If you’re the token writer at your office, among your friends, or in your family, then you are probably asked on a regular basis to edit, review, or proofread written documents.

Academic essays, business letters, and resumes will land on your desk with the word “HELP!” scrawled across the top.

Or, maybe you’re like me, a professional who offers editing services to writers and business people who want their text to be squeaky clean and irresistible to readers.

Most of us are happy to help. After all, it feels good to help people, especially when it involves doing something you love, like writing or proofreading and editing other people’s writing projects. And the good news is that editing other people’s work makes you more proficient at editing your own work. Read More

15 Quick and Dirty Writing Tips

writing tips

You can’t have too many writing tips!

The first time someone told me, “show, don’t tell,” I had no idea what they were talking about. Show what? Isn’t writing, by its very nature, telling?

I was a young writer and didn’t yet understand the many elements of good writing. But I kept hearing that advice over and over: show, don’t tell.

Then, one day, it clicked. I got it. To tell was to write a synopsis. To show was to write a scene, to take readers through the events with action, dialogue, and detail. Show, don’t tell. Of course. It was so obvious.

Now every time I read that advice, I have to smile. Read More

Writing Tips from William Wordsworth: Be Yourself

quotes on writing“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
– William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth expresses a simple concept that can be difficult to execute: being yourself. Read More

Tips for Saving Your Best Writing Ideas

writing ideas

How to save and cultivate your best writing ideas

Doesn’t it seem like the best writing ideas come at the most inconvenient times?

It happens when you’re driving, in the shower, or eating dinner at a restaurant. Unfortunately, you’re not sitting in front of your computer and even if you were, you don’t always have time to stop what you’re doing to make notes about your latest writing ideas.

But nobody wants to lose a truly great writing idea – so how do we save them before we forget them?

If your idea light bulb likes to shine while your hands are tied or when you’re away from your usual writing tools, then I have some tips to help you make sure you don’t lose your most creative writing ideas. Read More

The Only Two Writing Tips You’ll Ever Need

writing tips

You only need two writing tips: read and write.

I love collecting writing tips. You never know when you’re going to stumble across a golden nugget of wisdom that will make your writing richer and more vibrant. One of the reasons I started this website was so that I could share the many valuable tips that I’ve acquired over the years. I figure that if some bit of advice helped my writing, it’ll probably help other people’s as well. Read More