I know I am guilty of doing some of these when I work on my writing. While it has been a while since I have posted a writing based post, I think it would be beneficial to pull away from the superficial and get back to what matters the most to me – writing. When writing, we tend to make a lot of edits, think things through, over think, hyperventilate while in the fetal position in the corner of all places, eating chocolate and stressing about how we are going to get through this. If all things matter, this post should help! Again, I am not perfect, but I am learning from my mistakes and sharing with you.
- Switch the POV to first-person
When writing anything, first-person can save your writing immensely. I write, for example, predominately in third-person omniscient and I struggle putting the story together. I challenged myself to change my perspective to first-person and it has become so smooth, and I am proud of myself for doing so. I think the outcome will be better, showing emotion from the main character, amongst other important people.
2. Use italics for emphasis
Writing feeling bland? Using italics is a great way to get the message across, or even use it when there is internal thinking for the main character. It shows strength and understanding in your writing as an author, but also bridges a connection for the readers. Try it!
3. Edit your dialogue execution
Minimizing the talk doesn’t mean to actually cut the dialogue. I mean cut the whisper, whimper, bellow amongst anything else that is supposed to “set the tone.” I think using said is as simple and enough when it comes to writing.
4. Cut down the unnecessary
There is such thing as using too many modifiers, and words that end in -ly. A tip for the wise – use that tool in Word, or any other program and look for all words that end in -ly, or the, even and. We can scale those back with some simple editing.
Also, we don’t need the overuse of excessively large words.
We can also cut: in order to, that, start to, and make changes with really, thing, and very.
A lot of great books have extremely long sentence structures. George R. R. Martin has several, but with his writing, it’s necessary. Divide those long sentences into two. Those long words, simplify them. Tempestuous probably isn’t the best word to be using in that romance novel.
6. Use active language!
Passive language isn’t the best way to keep writers. Perhaps that is where I struggled with third-person writing. But use what you are good at!
7. Write like Hemingway
Write drunk, edit sober. Or write like no one is watching. Write like your life depends on it.
8. Writing should age
Just like a good whiskey or fine wine, it ages over time to mull and pick up the flavors of the barrel and the notes within the wine/whiskey itself. When you finish a draft, set it aside for a week or two and enjoy life. Don’t think about it and then come back to it for those pesky edits.
Writing is an artform and can be an inquired skillset over time. Practice makes perfect and even I am not there yet. I think if you truly love it, use it, build it and grow!