10 Tips on Improving Your Writing

  1. Don’t Use Bland, Dried Up Words – Very, Really, Bad, Good. These are all words that will take your writing from interesting and deep, to drab and crusty. Instead of these words, try using words like: nefarious, brutal, valuable, immaculate. (more here)
  2. Build on Your Characters – Especially if it’s your main character, you always want to give details and tell more about your characters. I like to give my main character a backstory for some depth. Tell where they are from, how they grew up, etc. (more here)
  3. Conflict, Conflict, Conflict! – Writing with no conflict has no depth and can be boring. If nothing happens how do you keep it interesting. You can kill a character off (not the main character) the right way. Fight scenes are full of suspense and thrill. This makes the reader want to find out what happens next. with fight scenes comes a lot of action and intensity, make sure to use the right words (see #1).
  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Add Romance – Adding romance is another tool to add something new and exciting. Just be careful to not force it or dry it up. Keep it interesting but unless your book is a romance novel, don’t make it the main focus. It’s easy to spend too much time on weaving love into the mix and forgetting the main plot. (example here)
  5. Having a Quality Villain – Who is my villain going to be? How is my villain going to act? What does my villain want? These are great questions to ask yourself when you are creating your evil mastermind. A great way to build character on your villain is relating them to characters already in the story. Or you could leave them mysterious and find out more as the story goes on. (more here)
  6. Dialogue Is More Important Than You Think –  Having dull and short (small talk) dialogue is an awful way to drown out a good story. When “hey” and “no” fill up half a page, the story line isn’t going anywhere. You’re stuck in a revolving door with no way out. Try putting in dialogue that progresses the story and stays interesting: reveal a secret, add threats to the mix, flirtation, etc. (more here)
  7. Put Just Enough Emotion In The Story – Emotion doesn’t always have to be sappy and sickly sweet, it can be anger, frustration, anxiety or joy. It provides a way to relate to the characters and make the reader feel what the character is feeling. It turns your story into a world that they can feel and believe. (more here)
  8. Provide An Appearance To Your Character – What do they wear? Facial features? How do they walk? Hand gestures? These are all things that you have to put into perspective when you are making your characters. Give some insight to what they are like and how they move. Detail is a great way to add more character development and silent feeling. (more here)
  9. Don’t Forget The Renowned Plot Chart – Plot diagram, story roller coaster, whatever you call it, it was made for a reason. Using this can help make sure you don’t get lost in all of the goals and focus on the main plot of the story. Add an exposition, rising action, conflict falling action, and conclusion for a classic plot diagram. (more here)
  10. Always Have A Goal To Strive For – Find out who their real parents are, discover a new planet, sail the world etc. This keeps something always happening and interesting. Make the goal not so easy to accomplish. Add conflict, glimmers of hope, new helping characters, etc. This creates a striving force to get it done and makes the journey worth it. (more here)
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