One word can shift the entire paradigm of a story or a reader’s imagination.
As writers we are always searching for ways to improve our work. While mulling over a topic for this post, the above subject crossed my mind. What can I offer my readers that brings their writing skills to the next level of perfection while pointing them in the way of success?
Between all the texting, emailing and social media platforms, our attention spans have become that of a microwavable society. Let us not forgot the SEO software madness and content marketing race, which also have an impact on our daily activities and performance in different business arenas.
Nevertheless, the storytelling skills of writers will always be the heart and soul of this societal vehicle no matter what. Whether you are a legend in your own mind as a writer or not. The tips below will serve as either a refresher for the more experienced or Writing 101 for the newbies. This can be a tool for enhancing your craft while employing new techniques and effective work habits. At the end of the day, perhaps you will be settled in a more concrete narrative; with a surety of knowing you are headed in the right direction.
In the 2006 film, ‘Stranger than Fiction’, Kay Eiffel said, “Like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method.” Some authors say there is a method to their madness and others say they have no method at all. Somewhere in the chasm of creativity between these two opinions one must find his/her comfort zone.
Here are 7 writing tips that will vastly improve your writing skills:
1. Fuel your passion. If you are a true writer it is your passion for writing that motivates you. It is human nature to go after that which we are most passionate about. Find the key component that stokes your fiery passion and nurture it . The more you nurture that component the more passionate you will become in your writing.
“My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve.”— Ray Bradbury
2. Formulate good writing habits. You cannot be lackadaisical about your writing process. You must have some sort of disciplined schedule. That is if you are to take this occupation seriously. There must be some order in your writing.
“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
3. Be a bookworm. It is duly noted by many famous authors that reading is essential to your writing style. They read as a form of research and development. As a means of perfecting their craft and challenging their writing prowess. You cannot write well if you do not read well.
“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.” —Stephen King
4. Make sure your stories have a hook. I am reminded when watching ‘The Arabian Nights(2000), to preserve her life, Scheherazade had to cure the madness of the Sultan by telling him stories. She would go to the bizarre, and listen to the town storyteller; then asks him questions on how to keep her listener interested. He said, “I’ve told you before the first moments are vital.” Then gives her this example:
“I was walking last night past the Great Mosque in the street of Sighs, exactly an hour after sundown, when I came face to face with Death…” Scheherazade asks,”Had he come for you?” The storyteller’s reply,”See… you’re hooked!“
5. Just write. Come hades or high water write! That’s what writers do. When a thought pops into your head, write it down. If a word suddenly sparks an idea, write it down. If you can’t sleep and are watching a movie and you get a creative vibe, start writing. If it is only a title, write it down. Chances are you will get the the substance for the essay, poem, book or movie script later. At least that’s how it works for me.
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”
6. Be transparent. People are naturally drawn to things they find in common with others. They love the bare truth. To somehow be able to identify with themselves or their desires in a story line is a reader’s delight.
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz Kafka
7. Know the power of your words. Recognize the power of your words. They are very powerful tools when used skillfully and artfully. One word can shift the entire paradigm of a story or a reader’s imagination. One sentence can change an entire panoramic view of the reader’s perception.
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” — Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
I hope these seven tips can increase your creativity and improve your writing prowess. Now keep pecking those darn keys until you find the answer you’re looking for! Blessings and peace to you all this week.
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