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Improving Your Writing Talents

Updated on February 1, 2013

Strengthen Your Writing Talent

Acknowledge Your Writing Talent

Writers have a definable passion for their craft. Writers also have a unique talent that needs to be acknowledged in order to improve and strengthen writing style. Identify your talent before you attempt the gargantuan task of writing an epic novel. Writers often amaze themselves when they seek their true writing talent. Many find a wealth of subjects to put into writing. There's always a book lurking in the back of their mind. This is one form of writing talent. Another is the ability to discover ideas others often ignore in their daily routine. Some writers find they have a muse that generates these ideas.

Always on the Move to Improve

It's always easier to write about topics that are familiar. Writing about the unknown requires research. There's no easy way to cut research time in half. The accepted view is that if the book is worthwhile, the research involved in writing about a subject is the core of the book's value. Often, writers find they write the way they speak. There's a subtle hint of natural colloquialism in their writing talent. This can become the writer's signature writing style. Be aware that this works well for fiction writers. For non-fiction, it's a matter of "the facts, just the facts." Fiction novels can be factual, but it isn't usually a requirement. Oddly, fiction does proves to spur realistic ideas. Human nature in fictional characters and realism in plot go a long way to create realism from fantasy. The focal point in fiction and non-fiction writing needs to be clear from the first chapter to capture and retain reader attention.

Check Your Grammar Usage and Tense

When a writer completes the first chapter, set the manuscript aside for a week and then re-read the first chapter as your readership would. Are there embedded colloquialisms that might reduce reader interest? For example, in using a past tense for the plot, is past tense overused? Like pungent spices, a little past tense goes a long way. This usage may be a result of quirky injection of past tense in our normal verbal communication. Another typical miscommunication of habit is to use "it," "this" or pronouns to replace a more descriptive noun. When "this" happens, reread the sentence and ask yourself if there is maximum clarity for readers. Use a thesaurus or descriptive word finder to replace ambiguous colloquialisms and to help clarify tense. If you are writing fiction and these colloquialisms are needed to identify cultural nuances or plot location, use sparingly or your novel may make for a difficult read. The goal of writing is material that is clear, concise and easily understood.

Avoid Omissions

Verbal communication today seems uttered in hasty staccato. Such speedy speech is often indistinguishable and creates confusion or omission of important facts. Writers find a similar problem when they are writing content for their manuscripts. It's easy to write in haste as ideas fly into the stream of consciousness. This haste may be the cause of words unintentionally omitted. We think we've written the sentence in entirety, only to discover upon editing, a word or two has been omitted. These are usually fairly common words we heard in our mins as we write, but didn't quite make it to our fingertips, the keyboard or text or dialogue. We wonder how we could miss such an error. Many of us vow to be more precise. Yet, an editor eventually finds the word we intended is missing. There are exercises to train your mind to maintain focus as you type your text. One of these exercises is the "One, Two, Three." You focus on only three words on your computer screen at a time instead of whole sentences. At the end of each paragraph, read the text backward from last word to first to catch errors. Use the "search" and "find" feature on word processors to catch misused dipthongs like to, two and too. Consider replacing common adjectives with more descriptive ones.

Talented Writers Never Cease Learning

Reaching the level of published author isn't a final plateau. It's only the beginning. One of the simplest ways to indulge your need for endless learning is to observe writers with similar talents. These observations are an opportunity for novices to become literary critics, albeit silent critics who make comparisons and gauge their own talents. Critique classic writers and contemporary writers. This will help embed your literary goals and align your personal writing talents for maximum achievement.

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