Would you please share any writing tips and lessons? It will be helpful for me and for many others especially for non-native English writers. Thank you very much!
Use adjectives as much as possible, because they can breathe life into a sentence, and make even the simplest thing sound interesting. Also, use a thesaurus to avoid using the same word over and over again e.g.
I walked to the shops- is okay, but its too simple and boring.
I rambled leisurely to the shops- see how better that sounds.
The best advice I can give you is to read what you write and then just sit down and write. If you're writing a story or an essay, don't worry about grammar and details during the first draft, you're going to have to go back and edit anyway. Just get your ideas out, let them flow until completion and then go back and clean it up.
It is always good to have a real arsenel of synonyms at you disposal,so that you can say as closely as possible what you want to convey. For example, we have the words, gleam, glint, glisten, glow,shine etc. to indicate reflected light off an object. Using the nearest correct word to what you want to say can make all the difference between in being ordinary and outstanding.
Best of luck.
One of the biggest problems I have is self-editing. I can read an article I've written several times over and still find a typo, misused word, misspelled word, got a name copied wrong or something on that line. After thinking everything is corrected and ready for publication, it still helps to let it rest a day or two and read it again. I find myself editing hubs again I already published because I failed to give it one more going over. For instance in the reviews I've been writing on classic television shows, I have more than once got an actors name wrong I put with their character name because I failed to see it earlier, only to have one of their fans tell me about it. I'm glad they let me know early so I could fix it without further embarrassment. The thing is I knew it was wrong because I watch these shows and am a fan myself of these actors. The reason I write reviews in the first place is for the old classic stars and their fans to see. I only typed it wrong. But it still made me feel bad it wasn't error free. Tip from a writing course I did said: You may have to read and revise several times before you're ready for an editor to look at it. This goes for self editing, too.
I hope this helps. Keep trying even when you think you can't.
Read a good book on writing basics. Here's a good one which I recently discovered and am reading now: "The Glamour of Grammar" by Roy Peter Clark, 2010. It's a very good book, entertaining, informative (with many examples), and is not only about grammar. Keep writing!
Read a lot from good writers. There are a ton of articles online. Check out the winners of the Hubpages contests and you will find good writing also.
Write about whatever you want whatever way you want. And don't take any advice seriously. The person reading your stuff may not have a firm grasp on what you're trying to say. As for English being a secondary language, I would say read an English language dictionary. That would be a good way for you to learn more complex words if you are already fluent in English on even a basic level.
Several of us on this site have published hubs about basic grammar, how to avoid common errors and other tips. Search for grammar, writing, how to write and other terms and you should get a good selection of hubs.
My students love using art as writing prompts for short fiction.
We go through a couple stages before writing (even though it's a very informal assignment) to help them vary their word choices and sentence structures. They can do any of the following that appeals to them, but most choose to do each of them.
-Brainstorm (using a thesaurus, rhyming dictionary etc.) words that may be useful. Some students like to group these by synonym, or just go as the mood takes them.
-Make a "mind map" of whatever your chosen subject is. Write the phrase/subject/emotion you want to focus on in the middle of the paper and brainstorm as many different ways to approach it/describe it/find it etc. that you can.
After that, they take an afternoon or two to write a story inspired by the artwork, and exchange it with a classmate for some peer editing. This is incredibly helpful, as it gives students a chance to talk about their work and to see how well they were able to get their point across.
Hope this helps!
A style guide is always good to have handy, I suggest The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White. If you're into creative writing a book which contains exercises is pretty nice to have as well, maybe something like The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley. I have a copy of each of these books and it's the only reason I mention them by name, otherwise you could find similar books that hold the same content. If you're looking to expand your vocabulary nothing beats copying pages out of the dictionary. Swear to God it's the best method I've ever used. One final piece of advice is that you should practice free writing, which is an exercise wherein you allow yourself to literally write freely—that is, write without thinking about what you're writing. Just put pen to paper and don't stop. I always start out with nonsense and most times end up writing about what is on my mind without reservation, sometimes it even sounds pretty good. But, it is a good way to generate ideas for a topic.
In response to the suggestion to avoid using the same word over and over again:
I agree with the suggestion in general, but I would add the warning that it is also possible to overdo the variations. They can sound artificial and contrived if too many are used in a short space.
And be sure the synonyms you select actually convey what you mean. In the sample given above, I myself would have said ambled rather than rambled. But JKenny may have written rambled as being precisely what he meant.
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