11 Tips to Improve Your Writing Today

April 1, 2019
Writing tips
11 Writing Tips to Improve Your Writing Today

Here are 11 helpful tips to improve your writing today by Jaclyn Goldis:

1.Read a ton in your genre

Read a ton in your genre. This is crucial to know the “rules” of the genre, and also how to differentiate yourself.

2. Find a Writing Buddy

Find a writing buddy, either in person or virtually. Preferably, find a few. Critique each other’s stuff. Brainstorm together.

3. Set daily, weekly or monthly accountability targets

Set daily, weekly or monthly accountability targets. Do writing sprints where you don’t do anything but write (or stare at your blank screen) for a set amount of time.

4. Pay attention to the topics that pique your interest

Pay attention to the topics that pique your interest. Incorporating them into your novel gives you fun research to undertake. So, write what you want to know.

5. Sometimes the advice to “write what you know” can be constraining

Sometimes the advice to “write what you know” can be constraining. But let things you know ground your work. I.e. use cities you’ve lived in as your setting, give your characters a few traits of people you’ve observed.  

6. Persist through rejections

Persist through rejections. But pay attention to your intuition as to when to pause and further edit a piece, and when to blitz it out to agents/publications.

7. Embrace criticism

Embrace criticism. Don’t be wed to your first draft, or fifteenth. If criticism resonates, get back to work.

8. Keep notes on things you observe in the world

Keep notes on things you observe in the world: snippets of dialogue at a café, a funny story a friend tells you, a quirk in your partner. All this can be harnessed to weave into your novels, and enrich the characters and scenes you conjure up.

9. Other writers’ rules are certainly helpful, but they are not gospel

Other writers’ rules are certainly helpful, but they are not gospel. Drown out the noise. Get to know your own process. Keep experimenting. What works for one book, doesn’t necessarily work for the next.

10. Write the thing that scares you a little

Write the thing that scares you a little. The thing that feels, can I really write this?

11. Kill your darlings

Kill your darlings. Be ruthless in striking words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, that don’t add something essential to character or drive the plot forward. I have been really influenced by Ernest Hemingway’s “Iceberg theory” on shortening prose https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_theory.

I create a separate document for each project I work on, and into it I dump all of the sentences and paragraphs I delete. That way if I want those deleted words back, they exist. (I never want them back.)

My Favorite Writing Resources

Courses/Webinars

Writer’s Digest Live Webinars (often comes with free query critique from agent): https://www.writersdigest.com/

Sarah Selecky Story Course: https://www.sarahselecky.com/sarahs-creative-writing-school/

Pink Pangea International Writing Retreats: www.pinkpangea.com/retreats/ 

Iowa MFA Free Writing Courses: https://iwp.uiowa.edu/iwp-courses/distance-learning-courses/moocs

Recommended Books

Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)

On Writing (Stephen King)

Story Genius (Lisa Cron)

Save the Cat (Blake Snyder)

Plot Perfect (Paula Munier)

Writing Down the Bones (Natalie Goldberg)

The Art of Memoir (Mary Karr)

Writing About Your Life (William Zinsser)

Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)

Blogs/Query Resources

Writer’s Digest
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs

Writer Unboxed
https://writerunboxed.com/

Jane Friedman
https://www.janefriedman.com/

Carly Watters
https://carlywatters.com/

BookEnds Literary Agency
http://bookendsliterary.com/category/blog/

Janet Reid’s Query Shark:
http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

Recommended Editors

Manuscript Academy (amazing resource for query and first pages critiques from agents/editors):
https://manuscriptacademy.com/

Reedsy:
https://reedsy.com/

Alan Rinzler (memoir):
https://alanrinzler.com/

Hybrid Publisher Alternative to Traditional Publishing

SheWrites:
https://www.shewrites.com/
SheWrites is a community of women writers. They provide resources and inspirations for writers all over the world and they have over 30,000 community members. SheWrites also has thousands of articles about writing — written by women writers form all genres.

11 Writing Tips to Improve Your Writing Today

Recommended Podcasts

Linda Sivertsen’s Beautiful Writers (she also has an excellent Facebook group writing community): https://bookmama.com/

About Book Mama, from their website (https://bookmama.com/):

“Listen in as author Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) brings together the world’s most beloved writers for monthly chats on writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity. These up-close conversations are a fan favorite, downloaded nearly a million times and frequently profiled on “Best Podcast” lists/blogs and at the top of the Literature category on iTunes.”

11 Writing Tips to Improve Your Writing Today

Do you have writing tips or resources to add to this list? What has helped your writing the most? Email us at hello@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Related Reading

10 Incredibly Useful Writing Websites

About Pink Pangea

Pink Pangea is the community of women who love to travel. It’s the place where you can get authentic travel information from women just like you who want to see the world and are already doing it. Post your travel stories; join one of our international writing, yoga, and hiking retreats; sharpen your writing skills in our online workshops; and connect with a community of extraordinary women.

As international travelers, we became frustrated by the lack of credible information about travel for women. At the time, existing travel sites presented—at best—a paragraph that dealt with women’s concerns and others were filled with non-specific information. We set out to create a platform where women could share their unique stories throughout the world. And in July 2009, Pink Pangea was born!

We invite you to join women from around the world in sharing the obstacles you came across,  the challenges you overcame, the solutions you found, and of course, all of the amazing places you saw and people you met! Meet us at one of our retreats and experience the rejuvenation that comes from spending a week doing something good for the soul in a stunning destination. Or join an online workshop and connect with women who love to travel all over the world.

We believe that every woman has a story to tell. That includes you. Whether you’ve trekked the Himalayas or road tripped to a nearby town– we want to hear about your experience. Interested in getting involved? Get in touch here!

11 Writing Tips to Improve Your Writing Today photo credit: unsplash.com

About Pink Pangea Updates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top
Loading...