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Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Good Writer

Updated on November 4, 2009
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1) Read other good writers, authors, journalists. Not only read WHAT they’ve written but HOW they’ve written it and WHY they’ve written it that way.

2) Write. Get it all down. Every idea and thought goes on that paper (or computer). You will never write ‘good copy’ on your first draft.

3) Read. Read what you’ve written.

4) Rewrite. This is when you make it more coherent. Correct smelling pistakes, pull points together, fill in the blanks, make sure it flows. And check the grammar.

5) Edit. The best reading is a sentence, paragraph, chapter or whole damn book that has had all the fat or fluff cut out. You might need to repeat steps 3 to 5 over again but the final edit results in a polished piece of writing. That’s when you submit it or use it.


In my opinion, it is simply common courtesy in communicating to do so as efficiently and correctly as possible. In conversation, for instance, we don't shout, we don't look away, we don't mumble. In writing, we try not to waste people's time with misspellings, poor grammar or rambling on. Every unnecessary word makes communicating more difficult. If we're not sure how to spell a word, it's thoughtful to look it up, and correct it, rather than to put that responsibility on the reader. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's incumbent upon us to make our best effort to be correct. It's thoughtful, it's polite, it's professional. Good writing makes for good reading.

- William F. Torpey


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    • Ana Teixeira profile image

      Ana Teixeira 6 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

      Your hubs are extremely useful and interesting. I will be following you. No doubt about it!

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      I appreciate your brevity. ©

    • Barraoc profile image

      B.C. Hollywood 7 years ago from Co. Meath, Ireland

      Good advice darkside, direct and to the point. Nice quote to finish on too.

    • profile image

       7 years ago

      It recently became apparent to me that the letters 'T' and 'G' are far too close together on a keyboard. This is why I'll always be proofing all my emails especially when ending with the phrase "Regards".

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

      Great info and good advice, thanks so much. I always re-read what I have written,(ever since I put 'singed in his absence' at the end of a letter I had typed for my boss - I surely did get the mistaken then!).

    • flread45 profile image

      Frank 7 years ago from Montana

      Mistakes are made,sometimes on purpose.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

      Simplicity is sometimes the best, DS. Awesome job as usual, :)

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 7 years ago from US

      short but it contains all the things we need to know about writing! Thank you!

    • treasuresyw profile image

      treasuresyw 8 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Great article. Good and straight to the point. Thanks for sharing this. Peace

    • kev8 profile image

      kev8 8 years ago

      Good straightforawrd advice!I like it!Thanks very much!

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      This was written 2 years ago? It is still very much applicable (and if I'm reading the forums right, more so now than before). Tanks I mean, thanks for the tips DS.

    • Tamarii2 profile image

      Tamarii2 8 years ago from NEW YORK


    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 10 years ago from Sydney

      Freebyrd, if you're still around, you should join the Harlequin Romance Writers at

      It's a community of wannabe and published writers of Romance, and the published authors are very, very helpful. I can also point you to some good info on Romance writing if you email me (link on my profile if you click on my name in this post).

    • profile image

      UK copywriter agent 10 years ago

      As you've said, practice really does make perfect. you'll learn what style your readers prefer, but also what style you prefer to write in too. Excellent Hub by the way

    • profile image

      Freebyrd 10 years ago

      Thanks Darkside ~

      I appreciate the info. on Hubpages. I am currently reading them now to see the subject and content people are using. Once I decide exactly WHAT I want to write about, I'll follow your advice. Will visit your hubpage as well.

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 10 years ago from Australia

      Good to hear Freebyrd.

      An excellent place to start is right here at Hubpages. While initially the $$$ is quite short of the mark one might get from being published in a magazine it has two advantages:

      1) There's no rejections!

      2) It's residual. So you can in fact be earning money from the likes of Adsense and Amazon for the life of your Hubs. Which is as good as being forever.

      I'm writing a Hub right now about How HubPages Works. So join my friends list ( ) and it'll be easier for you to find once its published.

    • profile image

      Freebyrd 10 years ago

      Darkside ~

      Thank you so much for the excellent advice and words of wisdom. I totally appreciate it. I started writing today. I now realize that I was my own worst enemy. No one was holding me back but myself. Heck, I was rejecting my own work before I even began! Many, many thanks.

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 10 years ago from Australia


      Just write. Write and write and write. And as you do it you will learn so much more. You will learn by doing a lot quicker then you will be reading about how to do it.

      Though if you choose a few good books to teach you it will tie up all the loose ends.

      Start with magazine submissions. Short stories. With the experience under your belt you can use it towards constructing the bigger blockbusters.

      A word of caution: Be prepared for rejection. I am a published author, of short stories that have been in national magazines. Depending on the publication and the style I usually had more rejections than acceptances

      No one has to read your stories until you're ready to show them. In fact DON'T SHOW ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS. Mine had to wait until they saw it in print.

      If your stories are original, well plotted and the spelling isn't atrocious then the editors will tidy up the grammar. And once published compare your original draft to the published piece to spot the differences. And learn from it.

      Keep learning. And don't stop writing.

    • profile image

      Freebyrd 10 years ago

      Hi There! I just happened to find your website today while surfing the net on becoming a writer. I couldn't stand myself any longer. I have so many beautiful romance stories to write, but I am scared to write them. Why? Because I have to get over the embarassing feeling of having other people read what I've written. Know what I mean? I don't have writers block, I have the fear of not knowing where to begin. These feelings are overwhelming me. Any advice as to how I can conquer it? I guess I need more confidence in myself. Proper grammar is another issue that leaves me feeling empty. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Longfield profile image

      Longfield 10 years ago

      Appreciate the pointers. Thanks so much will refer you to others in reference to writing issues. Again thanks. Best!!!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 10 years ago from Australia

      Yes, it was a test. And also to get a smile.

      So you passed test. And I am rewarded with a chuckle. :-D

    • Moonmaiden profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 10 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      I'm not sure if you spelled MISTAKES wrong on purpose or if that is just to test us. Either way, it made me chuckle. Hugs. Good luck on all your Hubs.