Writing can be a gateway to different time periods and other worlds. A good writer can capture the imaginations of their audience with their words and ideas. However, no matter how famous a writer gets, each one had to start somewhere. If you are reading this, then you have decided that you want to try writing fictional tales as well. Where to begin, though? Here are some valuable writing tips to get you started on your own journey.
You might remember the term brainstorming from elementary school. This is an important part of the writing process. However, not all ideas you come up with have to be perfect. Take this opportunity to gather up every single idea you can come up with. Don’t think too much about whether or not you’ll use it later. Just focus on comprising a list of places, events, and characters that you want to see in your story.
Once you have all this information written down you can focus on eliminating ideas that just don’t quite fit with the rest. Use an outline to get organized. Consider dividing your new ideas into categories such as World, Characters, and Events. Then, use subcategories to divide information as you get more and more specific. Once you’ve gotten all your ideas in one place you can begin the next step.
The next writing tip involves worldbuilding. Imagine for a moment that you were telling a story from your high school years. Because you lived through the events of the story you will be able to recall the details with more clarity. You also have an understanding of what your school was like and what type of people your friends were. This is the same type of understanding that you need to have when it comes to writing your own fiction story.
If you start telling a story without knowing the details, you will find yourself constantly going back to add more. This disorganization can lead to contradictions later on and cause an endless cycle of revisions. Avoid this by studying your characters and your world. Even small details that won’t appear in the final product are important. The audience does not need to know that Dennis was raised by wolves. However, if you as an author know this, then you can already write about Dennis with these characteristics in mind.
Writing tips extend much further than the writing phase. Reading a lot of books is the start of great writing. The more you read, the more you’ll understand how ideas can be put together. However, reading a book to improve writing is more than just understanding story tropes. Every author is different and so are their writing styles. Perhaps an author goes into great detail about mundane things. In another instance, an author uses suspenseful words to build an air of tension. Read and compare different authors. You can also try using other people’s writing styles to help shape your own.
In addition to reading fiction, the non-fiction section has many tools you can use to expand your knowledge. One such book I can recommend is “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer” by Roy Peter Clark. It is a book filled with writing strategies as well as exercises to get your mind flowing. Don’t just stop there. There are thousands of helpful reading materials that can polish your skills. So study up and you’ll see yourself improving in no time.
Be Clear and Concise
One common misconception among new writers is that they need to use as many big words as possible to make a good book. This is only half true. It is important for a writer to have a vast and refined vocabulary. However, you must also focus on making your work legible to your audience. Too many complex words can throw the average reader off if they are trying to read and digest information at a steady pace.
Sometimes, the best way to get your ideas across is to be concise and to the point. An example of this would be” The dog quickly ran away” vs “The canine hastily absconded”. Both convey the same message but one is easier for readers to understand. You can focus on using different vocabulary as you improve but as a beginner, focus on legibility.
Some of you might be able to write 1000 words a day. If you do, that would be an accomplishment. However, if you’re reading this then you’re probably a beginner. Writing can be a daunting task when you look at it from afar. Flip through the pages of a book and you will see that it is made up of thousands upon thousands of words. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your work.
How much can you write in one day? Set up a daily goal for your writing. Can you do 300 words a day? Perhaps you can do 500. It doesn’t matter how many words you can write compared to others. What matters is that you find a number you can keep up with. Over time you’ll be able to write even more in less time. One of the best writing tips is simply to pace yourself.
One of the most important writing tips I can give you is to get involved with the writing community. Writing alone can only get you so far. Being connected with the writing community can expose you to different perspectives and styles. You can get plenty of valuable advice from others who also share the same passion as you. Feedback will also be much more helpful from readers who understand writing more than you. Make friends and take notes because connections can be just as valuable as advice.
Getting involved with the community can also expose you to writing events. If you are a young writer then I recommend checking out NaNoWriMo. It is a non-profit organization that encourages people to write. Every November writers participate in a writing challenge where the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. Although it may sound challenging, sometimes a writer needs a goal to keep them motivated.
So if you think you have what it takes then use these tips to start your masterpiece. Don’t forget to pace yourself and use every opportunity to get more acquainted with the written word. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun. Writing is an opportunity to share what you love and create new connections along the way. Remember these writing tips and you will be well on your way to creating something amazing.