What is some good advice to becoming a better writer?
I would love for my writing to flow better, be more natural and entertaining, and feel less contrived.
Keep writing but look at other writers and find some styles that you like. When you read something and become engrossed ..that's good writing.
Good writing looks easy, a bit like a good muso..they make it sound so easy.. but it requires much practice and learning through constructive criticism.
Confidence, passion and a joy of writing are also important plus understanding language along with rythm, structure and research.
Another tip is to print your copy out and read it aloud..you will find the clumsy phrases and bits that don't make sense.
Let others read you work and ask them for truthful feedback.
Read. Read all the quality literature you can to see how they did it. And write every day.
Pretty much what's already been said - read and write. Don't just limit yourself to your personal favourites, though. Read widely - different styles and genres, fiction and nonfiction, and so on. Hell... even reading bad writing and giving some thought to what makes it bad can have value.
For writing - try to write regularly. If you can't actually think of anything to write, then there are various exercises you can pick up from writing courses, or books on writing, to help you get things moving. One that tends to work for me is a 'stream of consciousness' writing exercise that I got from a creative writing course I did at university.
Set a time limit and just start writing and don't let yourself stop or pause until you're done. You'll probably spend a fair amount of time writing about how stupid you feel, or how you can't think of anything to write, but there's also likely to be stuff mixed in there that you can pull out and use.
Read as much as possible, and then start writing. When you get tired of writing go back to reading again. Just reading is not sufficient, concentrate on your reading, observe the style of writing, observe the words and phrases used. Gradually you will be able to write better.
Think of your writing as in talking to a good friend. Be honest. Share your thoughts, tell a story. And like everyone else has said here, read a lot.
Excellent question and answers. I am also researching how to be a better writer. I have been out of school a very long time and now that I have raised my family I am now pursuing my dream of writing. I had to start from the basics by learning how to create an outline, and how to write an essay. The hardest thing for me is getting all those thoughts and ideas in my head organized on paper. Here is a link to a free online creative writing course that I am doing myself. Good luck.
http://creative-writing-course.thecraft … reativity/
Read the genre you're writing in and write, write, write. Write what interest you and what inspires you. Don't write for anyone but yourself.
Hubpages also has amazing articles on how to improve your writing with details and grammar.
Hubpages is a great place to become a writer, just keep writing about your passion and you will be on top before you know it.
Practice, practice, practice. Really, that's all I've done. That and read, but reading is more of an obsession. Read the authors you love and continue to write.
Write as much and as often as you can.
Read as much and as often as you can.
And learn punctuation in detail--that is one of the differentiators I see most commonly between "real" serious writers and people who just write because they must. The comma and the apostrophe are most often the ones at fault in a document.
I always recommend reading Strunk & White's classic book, "The Elements of Style" whenever asked this question. And, I really do read it cover to cover at least once a year on average--and I always pick up something new that I'd been doing wrong in the past.
Keep asking this question of everyone you meet: you're already on the right track!
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