5 Tips to Become a Better Writer by Caroline Blaha-Black

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karolinka
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5 Tips to Become a Better Writer by Caroline Blaha-Black

Post by karolinka » 09 Nov 2016, 12:02

5 Tips to Become a Better Writer
By Caroline Blaha-Black


There are many things that can make a wannabe scribe a better writer, and many of those are too numerous to list. I will, therefore, concentrate on five tips that have worked for me over the years in my writing career, and in general when writing my books and articles.

1) Read other authors. One of the most obvious for those who are going to call themselves a writer would be to read other writers. Writers are readers first, and good readers usually make good writers. I started my writing career by reading everything I could lay my hands on, mostly fiction and the classics, in addition to getting a subscription to a couple of writing magazines. Don’t limit yourself only to novels, though, but read writing-help books, and non-fiction as well. Get a good idea of different writing styles by reading classics, for example Hemingway and Asimov and also modern fiction, like Tom Clancy and James Patterson. Highlight similarities and compare the differences.

2) Go to writing conferences and take writing courses. It never hurts to take a grammar refresher or a course in freelance writing. Writing conferences require some investment at first, as they can be expensive, but they’re worth every penny. You can take workshops, network with other writers, meet industry insiders, even pitch your book idea to a literary agent. When I go to these, often I come home motivated and energized to do more writing, and sometimes I actually secure an assignment or two while there.

3) Join a writer’s critique group. These groups usually meet in your local library or Starbuck's. Approach them with an open mind as you’ll be asked to provide constructive criticism on each other’s work. The members of the group have no vested interest in your work, so they can provide unbiased comments as to what works and what doesn’t in your novel or article. It takes guts to join a critique group, but with a bit of luck and a positive attitude, they can help you address those problem areas in your work.

4) Try your hand at freelancing. Before you write your next bestseller, make sure you can actually sell small articles and stories before going big. Write a few short stories that are related to your book and pitch them to a magazine or two that might have interest in your work. Or, offer your work to writing contests or literary journals, and see where you stand from the crowd. I try to enter contests that offer constructive feedback for my submissions- even if I don’t win, at least I will know what to improve.

5) Be active on social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer a treasure trove of writing advice, links, contacts, feedback from readers, and more. Not sure if a part of your book makes sense? Post it on Facebook for your friends (and potential customers) to see, and ask for their feedback. See what they liked and what didn’t make sense. Do they want more? Does the story hold their attention? Use their suggestions to make your story better.

There are many more ways to improve your writing craft, but the above five points are a good place to start. Writing every day beats them all, so make sure and squeeze a little bit of writing into your everyday schedule!
"How to be a writer. Step one: Write."
- A. Beauchamp.

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Post by gali » 10 Nov 2016, 14:38

Thank you for the interesting article. :tiphat:
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Ginam13 » 10 Nov 2016, 15:31

Thank you. Great advice. I don't feel comfortable posting my book on social media however.

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Post by Wasif Ahmed » 10 Nov 2016, 20:03

Thank you for your advice. :)
When people say you've changed, it just means that you have stopped living your life, their way.

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Post by bookowlie » 11 Nov 2016, 11:54

I enjoyed reading your article. Tip#3 seem particularly helpful, as I would think writers can give good suggestions to each other about their work.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by karolinka » 15 Nov 2016, 17:47

Thank you all for your kind words about my article, it is much appreciated!
"How to be a writer. Step one: Write."
- A. Beauchamp.

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Post by Ripley3131 » 23 Nov 2016, 14:33

This was very concise and accurate. It was good for me to realize what steps I'm weak in so that I can go about correcting it. Thank you.

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Post by hsimone » 04 Dec 2016, 13:00

Thank you for the advice! These seem very helpful for those aspiring to become better writers.
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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Post by bigfootmurf » 05 Dec 2016, 06:01

Good tips for marketing and getting about and being social but I think a writer should write. If you spend your day twittering and facebooking and going to meetings you're not going to have much time left to put words on the page. However, reading is definitely a good idea.

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Post by Micheal mathew » 03 Jan 2017, 02:53

Your article was short and precise to the point.personally I feel that it is always better when it is short ,So you did a wonderful job

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Post by +++--- » 15 Jan 2017, 13:02

Thanks for sharing your pivotal experience.

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Post by duckwood1092 » 15 Jan 2017, 14:50

Great tips and thanks for sharing. Attending writing conferences and taking courses can be costly for traveling as well as enrolling. I could take courses online but sometimes it is nice to speak with classmates face-to-face. I have found finding critique groups and even book clubs nearby a challenge. Most are an hour away and would take half the day for one meeting: 1+ hours to drive & find place/parking, 1+ hour for meeting & socializing, 1+ hour to drive back. This could take 4 hours or more as some critique sessions I have attended took 1.5-2 hours.

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Post by Insightsintobooks » 15 Jan 2017, 21:08

Thank you for writing this article. The tips are helpful. I'd never thought of joining a writing group before.

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Post by karolinka » 15 Jan 2017, 21:17

Thank you! The writing and critique groups can be helpful- you have a second or third pair of eyes to look at your work. If there is one close to your area, that is helpful. so you don't have to drive so far. Sometimes it can also be a good idea to start one yourself, of there are non in your area, and have some of your writing-minded friends join.
"How to be a writer. Step one: Write."
- A. Beauchamp.

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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Feb 2017, 13:59

I enjoyed reading your article. I have always wanted to write fiction, but I just don't have the talent. I do like the thought of a writer's critique group, though.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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