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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing

    The only experience that I had in writing before I wrote my first book was a creative writing course taken in my first year of college twenty years prior. Most authors major in journalism, communications, or English in college―so I knew I had an uphill battle in order to be worthy of being on the same playing field with these more seasoned authors. There are five techniques I used and still use that fundamentally helped me become the best writer I can possibly be.

 Jot Down Ideas.

    When I was in the infancy stages of my writing career, my mind would constantly be flooded with random thoughts on what details I could add to my stories, and it had gotten to the point that I’d become restless and couldn’t sleep some nights. I tried to remember those tidbits of information after finally winding down and falling asleep, but I forgot them the majority of the time after I woke up. Writers should utilize the Notes app on their iPhones or Notepad app on their Android phones the moment an idea comes to mind so that it won’t be forgotten.

 Build Vocabulary.

    The era of the computer, smart phone, Kindle, and other similar devices have made it much easier to look up the definitions of words that are unfamiliar, and the online dictionary is the author’s best friend. I have consistently looked up words that I wasn’t sure of the meaning while reading or writing, and it’s become second nature to me because I never want to use a word out of context on my blog or in my novels.

 Sharpen Grammar.

    The correct or incorrect usage of grammar is a direct reflection on the writer, so it’s imperative that the sentence structure and the spelling of words are on point when writing a novel or blog. The Editor and Read Aloud features in Microsoft Word are great tools that can be used to proofread a blog post or book, but they’re not foolproof. My biggest Achilles heel in the past was using the correct homonym when writing. For example, knowing when to properly use discreet or discrete and eminent or imminent in a sentence presented problems for me, so I made it a point to look up the meanings of these homonyms and others like them in order to make sure that I had a clear understanding of how to use these words properly in a sentence.

Research Topics.

    It’s good for fiction authors to make their stories as realistic as possible―especially if writing about a person, place, or thing that’s foreign to them. I like to incorporate places that I’ve visited into my storyline, and I research the specific details about a particular city such as a landmark or a street name to give readers the feeling that they’ve been there as well. It’s the details that make a story interesting, but there’s also a fine line between vivid storytelling and being bogged down with too much descriptive language.

Read Books from Other Authors.

    The final method writers can use to hone their skills is read material from other authors, and in doing this, it gave me the confidence to incorporate my writing style into my own works. Reading books from my competitors showed me that it was okay to have a different voice, and in turn, I discovered there was more than one way to convey a story.

    Perfecting one’s craft in writing is an ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been writing novels and short stories for over fifteen years, and I’m still learning how to become a better writer each time that I publish something. An author can apply these five methods that I’ve used through trial and error to also become the best writer that he or she can be.

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Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing

     The only experience that I had in writing before I wrote my first book was a creative writing course taken in my first year of college ...