- Be mindful of punctuation. Although its fine to throw caution to the wind in the first draft, you should remember that proper grammar, spelling, and punctuations are just as much the writer’s tools as character, plot, and storytelling. Know your craft.
- Adopt your own writing habits. Some writers say to write daily, but for some, that’s just not practical let alone possible. Find your own methods, that work best for you. If this means writing on a weekly basis instead of daily, or picking blocks of time or finding writing rituals, understand that one size does not fit all. You need to find what works for you.
- Learn the writing rules….so you can break them. More specifically is understand the reasons why editors and agents put out writing rules in the first place so you can understand why so many have acceptations to those rules.
- Let the muse work first, then the inner-editor. Don’t let worry about skill or fear of writing problems hold your storytelling back. Just write and get it all out on page (in a documents) so you can edit and fix later.
- Read. By reading, you learn storytelling, character, dialog, and all the other elements of writing as they work in published fiction. A reader best understands what other readers want from a story.
- Write with your passion. This is best when you get tangled up with deciding which story to write first, or what project to focus on. Pick the one you’re most passionate about. This allows that passion to pour into the writing.
- Backup your work. I can’t tell you the number of writers who lost their work through viruses or computer issues. Use a skydrive, USB drive, or backup to disc to protect your work.
- Get feedback for your work. This might be the most frightening step of being a published writer; sharing your own for critique. Bolster your courage and listen to constructive criticism to improve your writing skills. You can find web sites that offer a means for feedback, or ask friends and family. Join a writer’s group, or connect with other writers to share your work.
- Write outside the box. Now and then explore other forms of writing, explore genres, or try new techniques to exercise that writing muscle.
- Read books about writing. Blogs, such as mine, also offer tips and tricks, exercises, and advice for writing. Learn about writing to improve method and style.
Using the freewriting technique, use the topic of ‘masks’ and write about your thoughts, opinion, story ideas, titles, or exercise a method of describing an ornate mask.
Feel free to post your own tips in comments below. I’d love to hear your opinions!