What are ways to get better at writing?

BubblyStar

An artist with too much free time
Apr 21, 2021
54
22
my chair
dazzlenova.carrd.co
I'm having trouble. I haven't written anything(like full chapters, not random quotes, they don't count) in years. Maybe since middle school. Sadly, I lost them(the better ones at least), so I can't go back and learn from my mistakes like I usually would.

I don't know how to get back into writing again after so long. I always have a bunch of ideas and want to write them, but I realized that I always have trouble describing things like environments or sometimes emotions. Even in old stuff I write, they're terrible...

I realized I suck at almost everything
 

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
442
The Lightning Strike
The advice I've been given by all my creative writing teachers is to first read a ton, and analyse good examples of what you struggle at. Rather than just passively reading, take a mental note of any techniques you see that work well, and adapt them into your own work. Also, try to read outside your genre and mix in some of their ideas, a wide reference pool helps make your writing unique.
After that, the only way to improve is practice, which means accepting your first draft won't be perfect and just writing it anyway. :piko_ani_lili: Because once you've done your first draft, you can move on to your second draft, which will be better, and so on. It's easier to solve problems once they're in front of you.

(Oh, and of course remember that you don't need to replace 'said' and names/pronouns with substitutes unless it's necessary. That's the only piece of 'objective' writing advice that exists, I think. :clara_ani_lili:)

'Could I order fries?' the brunette teen exclaimed. :disagree::lily_ani_lili:
'Could I order fries?' Jane said. :agree::sonika_ani_lili:

(Because drawing attention to the structural part of the text distracts from what's happening in the story, breaking immersion. You can repeat words like 'said', pronouns, and names as many times as you want, because they're normally invisible to the reader.)

I hope that helps! Remember that most authors produce reams of writing they're dissatisfied with before they finish something they want to show the world, so don't feel discouraged!
 

BubblyStar

An artist with too much free time
Apr 21, 2021
54
22
my chair
dazzlenova.carrd.co
Rather than just passively reading, take a mental note of any techniques you see that work well, and adapt them into your own work.
I realized this is something I don't really do often. I should take note of things I read more often. Maybe writing things down would be easier for me than mentally taking notes. I don't trust my memory for I just forget things.

(when I was younger, I always though "read more" means just read more books and just gain EXP or something lol)

Oh, and of course remember that you don't need to replace 'said' and names/pronouns with substitutes unless it's necessary. That's the only piece of 'objective' writing advice that exists, I think. :clara_ani_lili:
I remember the quote "said is dead" when I was in school, and that using "said" one too many times makes your writing bad. While this is somewhat true, my teacher would refrain the class from using the word "said" altogether, which was weird lol

Also! I struggle with some of these things, too! Look at illustrations (preferably “scenery”) and try to describe what’s going on! How does it make you feel? What is the scene like? What time is it? Etc.
I should do this actually! :)
 
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Kazumimi

Sukone Tei Propagandist
Staff member
Moderator
Glad you like the suggestions!
Also, a piece of advice I saw a long time ago was to avoid using the word “that” unless it’s totally necessary because “that” is one of the most overused words in the English language. Removing it can make your sentences flow better! (Of course, you don’t have to avoid altogether—just decrease the usage a bit!)
 

BubblyStar

An artist with too much free time
Apr 21, 2021
54
22
my chair
dazzlenova.carrd.co
Glad you like the suggestions!
Also, a piece of advice I saw a long time ago was to avoid using the word “that” unless it’s totally necessary because “that” is one of the most overused words in the English language. Removing it can make your sentences flow better! (Of course, you don’t have to avoid altogether—just decrease the usage a bit!)
I never heard of this advice before. Do people really use "that" a lot in their writing? Either way, I'm keeping this in mind. Thanks :)
 

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
442
The Lightning Strike
(when I was younger, I always though "read more" means just read more books and just gain EXP or something lol)
That's not far off, haha!
I remember the quote "said is dead" when I was in school, and that using "said" one too many times makes your writing bad. While this is somewhat true, my teacher would refrain the class from using the word "said" altogether, which was weird lo
That (lol don't kill me Kazumimi) school advice is unfortunately common, which is why I always feel the need to debunk it. It's one of the worst rules, because avoiding 'said' actually makes text harder to read! If you ever feel insecure about using 'said', pick up a published novel and count how often it's used: I guarantee they'll repeat it constantly. :azuki_lili:
 

rixatech

Extreme Sonika Enjoyer
I'm having trouble. I haven't written anything(like full chapters, not random quotes, they don't count) in years. Maybe since middle school. Sadly, I lost them(the better ones at least), so I can't go back and learn from my mistakes like I usually would.

I don't know how to get back into writing again after so long. I always have a bunch of ideas and want to write them, but I realized that I always have trouble describing things like environments or sometimes emotions. Even in old stuff I write, they're terrible...

I realized I suck at almost everything
Something that helps me is to read works by other people and analyze what I do and don't like about their writing. Like, I'll read some fanfiction or something and think about what I liked about it and what I think could have been better if I was writing it. I find that keeping these things in mind when writing my own stuff helps me be more detailed and comprehensive.
 

Blue Of Mind

The world that I do not know...
Apr 8, 2018
492
Britain
That (lol don't kill me Kazumimi) school advice is unfortunately common, which is why I always feel the need to debunk it. It's one of the worst rules, because avoiding 'said' actually makes text harder to read! If you ever feel insecure about using 'said', pick up a published novel and count how often it's used: I guarantee they'll repeat it constantly.
I remember that crap in both primary and secondary school! In hindsight, I feel that advice was intended to discourage kids from reading for pleasure and looking into a writing career, because apparently, published authors never repeat words or phrases. Plus, replacing "said" with a fancier phrase can catapult a story from being written in so-called "beige prose" towards "purple prose", so it can become unreadable for a different reason.
 

sketchesofpayne

Listening to Hatsune Miku since 2007
Jan 21, 2021
106
www.youtube.com
WRITE EVERY DAY.

Even if it's just a couple sentences about an idea you had or a comment about something you read that you liked. Even if you just sit down and type out, "I can't think of anything to write." The daily nature of the exercise makes your subconscious mind start compiling things and ideas to write about. I have a "Freewriting.doc" where I just start off typing whatever I'm thinking at the moment or stuff I remember from the previous day. After a dozen sentences of that my brain shifts into writing-mode and I actually start typing something productive.

Once you are writing every day you can start studying up on other aspects of writing. There are a lot of good blogs and sites run by editors with good information. They get thousands of manuscripts sent to them, so they know what the state of authorship is and they know what they are talking about. Writers can only tell you about how they write. Editors can tell you about how everyone writes.

And one more thing you need to do is to write every day. Don't forget that last one.
 

BubblyStar

An artist with too much free time
Apr 21, 2021
54
22
my chair
dazzlenova.carrd.co
Something that helps me is to read works by other people and analyze what I do and don't like about their writing. Like, I'll read some fanfiction or something and think about what I liked about it and what I think could have been better if I was writing it. I find that keeping these things in mind when writing my own stuff helps me be more detailed and comprehensive.
I do this sometimes, but not always. Maybe I should read other people's work more often. Thanks for the advice! :D

WRITE EVERY DAY.

Even if it's just a couple sentences about an idea you had or a comment about something you read that you liked. Even if you just sit down and type out, "I can't think of anything to write." The daily nature of the exercise makes your subconscious mind start compiling things and ideas to write about. I have a "Freewriting.doc" where I just start off typing whatever I'm thinking at the moment or stuff I remember from the previous day. After a dozen sentences of that my brain shifts into writing-mode and I actually start typing something productive.

Once you are writing every day you can start studying up on other aspects of writing. There are a lot of good blogs and sites run by editors with good information. They get thousands of manuscripts sent to them, so they know what the state of authorship is and they know what they are talking about. Writers can only tell you about how they write. Editors can tell you about how everyone writes.

And one more thing you need to do is to write every day. Don't forget that last one.
I remember my sister telling me to write everyday a lot years ago, but I never really thought of doing it, because I worried I will get burned out quickly. I remember doing the same with drawing everyday a couple years ago, only for me to stop drawing for months.
I didn't know writing anything could still be helpful for me. I should definitely do this. Thanks :sonika_ani_lili:
 

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