write better

Can the Right Writing Tools Help You Write Better?

When I first started writing, it was just me, a ninety-nine cent pen, and a cheap spiral-bound notebook. Using those tools, I wrote dozens of poems, stories, and journal entries. These days, I’m surrounded by far more sophisticated writing tools: fancy pens and journals, a computer with writing software, a library of writing resources, and…Read More

Whose Writing Advice Should You Follow?

Some writing experts say, “Write what you know.” Others say, “Make it up as you go.” Some say, “Write by the seat of your pants.” Other say, “No! Start with an outline.” With so much contradictory writing advice floating around out there, what’s a writer to do? Know Your Goals First and foremost, the writing…Read More

writing skills

How to Improve Your Writing Skills

Today’s post features excerpts from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. These excerpts are from “Chapter Five: Skills.” Enjoy! Writing Skills When we talk about writing skills, we usually think of the basics: the ability to write sentences and paragraphs correctly with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But a lot more than that goes into…Read More

talent

Talent Isn’t Everything

Every writer hopes for talent, but what is talent, exactly? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary offers several definitions: a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude. general intelligence or mental power: ability the natural endowments of a person Talent gives people an edge or a head start. With talent, you can learn faster and perform better. Success isn’t…Read More

good writing

Eight Characteristics of Good Writing

How important is it for a writer to be able to discern the difference between good writing and bad writing? Pretty important, if you ask me. I know some writers aren’t concerned with quality. In today’s do-it-yourself and get-it-done-fast world, quality plays second fiddle to quantity. Who cares if your books are full of typos,…Read More

good grammar

How to Make Grammar Part of Your Daily Life

I recently started relearning how to play the guitar after a rather long hiatus. It’s not like I ever learned how to play it properly in the first place — so I’m still a beginner. And at times, I find it frustrating. I just want to pick the thing up and rip out a song,…Read More

beta readers

What Are Beta Readers, and Should You Use Them?

By the time you’ve finished your manuscript and are ready to show it to agents and editors — or self-publish and put it in front of readers — you have almost certainly lost the ability to view your own work with a critical eye. While there are some tactics you can use to self-edit, you…Read More

proofreading and editing

21 Do-It-Yourself Editing Tips

The human mind is a funny thing; it likes to play tricks on us. For example, when we proofread and edit our own writing, we tend to read it as we think it should be, which means we misread our own typos and other spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as problems with word…Read More

writing effective sentences

Are You Writing Effective Sentences?

Nothing ruins a great piece of writing like weak words and poorly structured sentences. We’ve all been there. You’re working through your first draft or perhaps making your way through revisions. The scene plays out in your mind like a movie. But when you try to put it into words, it just doesn’t flow right. In…Read More

good grammar

Five Grammar Habits Every Writer Should Adopt

Can you imagine a nutritionist who eats exclusively at fast food restaurants? A personal trainer who never exercises? A writer who can’t be bothered with grammar, spelling, and punctuation? In most professions, best practices and tools of the trade are mandatory. If you want to be a lawyer, you must pass the Bar exam. If…Read More

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