Today, a simple list on how to develop your craft of writing, how to keep it crisp, engaging and tell your story.Yep, just a list. Things I’ve learned in years of writing. Agree, disagree, make use or don’t. Your choice. But whatever you decide, keep on writing.
- Keep it simple.
- Don’t overwrite.
- Keep a light touch with your settings and descriptions, sprinkle information through your story, don’t feed it in huge lumps.
- Forget multitasking – focus on monotasking – give yourself uninterrupted time for your writing – put down the phone, no texting, nothing, just write.
- Think before you include an expletive. Does it fit the character? Does it give the situation more punch or is it just there for the sake of a bit of shock value? Some people find such words offensive – if you’re going to use them make maximum use of their punch.
- Use simple, declarative sentences unless absolutely necessary.
- Avoid the passive voice – engage your reader.
- Cut the crap. Really. Listen to Elmore Leonard – if it sounds like writing, rewrite it.
- Watch out for adjectives and adverbs. Keep them to a minimum.
- Never rescue your hero or heroine. They have to learn to do that for themselves.
- Watch your paragraph lengths. Keep them shorter unless absolutely necessary ~words as well, writing is not a vocabulary contest.
- Try visualizing who you’re writing for.
- A broom is not a long-handled kitchen cleaning implement, it’s a broom! Clear on that?
- Write the way that works best for you.
- Write first without worrying about spelling, grammar, punctuation fixes. Let your right brain run wild.
- Write from the heart.
- Oh, and don’t listen to too much advice, clear your own path.
Now go write something.