How to Improve Your Writing

My regular readers know that I am currently studying for my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.

One of the ideas impressed upon me by most of the lecturers and tutors last semester was the importance of striving to improve one’s writing. There is always room for change and improvement in any manuscript, whether that be a story, novel, article, essay or poem. The writer should always aim at producing the very best piece of writing. Careful editing, proofreading and rewriting are all part of this process.

How can we improve our writing?

There are many ways of improving your writing. Here is a list of some ways of making improvements. It is not an exhaustive list; I am sure you can think of many more. You can share them in the comments section. I’d like that.

  • Check your spelling. Have a good dictionary handy – or access one online.
  • Check that your work is grammatically correct. Let someone who has a good understanding of grammar check your work.
  • Check that you have used the correct punctuation.
  • Read out your text aloud; if you stumble over a word or phrase it may indicate that there is a problem with that sentence.
  • Get someone else to read the text aloud to you.
  • Watch out for obscure words; a simpler word may be better, and lead to better reader comprehension.
  • Watch out for long sentences; they can easily ramble on for far too long and this can lead to reader confusion and hinder communication. Many readers will just give up and go to something else.
  • Cut out all unnecessary and superfluous words. Be ruthless.
  • Consider every word – have you used the right word?

The list could go on and on.

The most productive and effective way to improve your writing I’ve left out of the list above.

If you really want to improve your writing, just keep writing. The more you write the better you will become.

Good writing.

 

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