- Books, Literature, and Writing
Advanced Writing Tips to Push you to Save the World!
I want you to stare at the screen for a moment. Recognize that you are reading each word which is broken down into letters, into characters. With each passing moment, your eyeballs are taking in more words. Your thoughts are making associations with these words, and you are trying to understand them and make conclusions. These words are being read by your eyes.
Entirely too literal... and yet meta. My friends, my neighbors, my excellent cats who have reading capabilities, don't be dainty with writing.
The world is in a critical state of decay and one of the ways we can make a difference is by thinking in terms we have not dared yet to do so that we can find the right angles to solve our globe's biggest problems. Writing is what goes before our greatest politicians in order to convey messages. Writing makes a difference. A big difference.
So how do you become a painstakingly better writer? By daring to suck. Take risks! You're never going to get anywhere if you don't feel comfortable with grammar. Own that little piece of mercury filled Beetlejuice -- throw it overboard, because you deserve it. Know the rules and then run with it. If you want to be an acne engrossed adult your whole life, then cool, but if you want to have clear, radiant and attractive skin, then do something about it. Your writing has acne so you need to figure out what the panacea is to alleviate the nastiest of germs. So here's a few pointers:
1. Improve your verb choice.
- Avoid linking verbs, gerunds, and adverbs. Any verb that's only three letters long is generally non-descriptive.
- Avoid vanilla verbs. Commonly overused verbs can be changed to help your sentences have more action. The following are examples of weak verbs: sits, runs, gets, pulls, lays, pushes, is, was, were, are, and walks. Use a thesaurus to spice up your language.
- Never end a sentence on a verb.
2. Be vivid. We need colorful language. We are visual thinkers in a visually demanding world.
- Use active language over passive language.
- Use words that describe the five sentences: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.
- Use rich figurative language, metaphors to bring out your thoughts.
- Avoid cliche or overused phrases and seek for unusual metaphors.
- Be specific rather than vague.
- Don't be afraid to throw together a new metaphor or concept: green poodles floating in space with martinis. I hope that was a nice visual for you.
3. Always go back and cut out as many pointless words as you can find.
- The following are often overused: that, of, this, and, but, in the light of, in fact, however.
- Taking out pointless words helps your writing to be lean. You don't want extra fat.
- Don't be afraid to remove whole sentences or paragraphs. If you are too attached to your writing it will make it difficult to be objective about what hinders your writing.
- First drafts are never perfect. First drafts allow you to get the ball rolling, but will have training wheels that need be removed.
4. Read and learn about other stories, essays, speeches, and the rest of the pantheon.
- If you want to be a good writer, you need to what is good writing especially for whatever medium you are trying to emulate such as short story, screenplays, etc.
- If you are writing by genre, then read genre that stands out for that area such as science fiction, paranormal romance, etc.
Have fun! And here's a little video to give you an idea of a television writer's job.
5. Take time to intentionally be imaginative about your storyworld. Close your eyes, lay on the floor, listen to music, and envision your world that you command.
6. Set a timer on yourself to require yourself to write a certain amount. If you force yourself to write two hours with no distractions, you may conquer more.
7. Keep a journal where you only write your dreams. This will help you expand and remember your imagination.
8. Don't be afraid to show your writing to others who can critique you.
9. Write free-writes before hand. Try not to focus so much on organization and let yourself write spontaneously.
10. Pretend you are hiring characters to handle the crafty plots you will craft.
11. Go on a walk.
12. Write down on your phone or a pad of paper words that catch your attention.
13. Don't be afraid to experiment. Don't be afraid to suck.
14. Print off your document and turn it into a cut up snowflake. It'll make you feel authority over what you write.
15. If what you write bores you, throw it out.