How can you improve your writing?

I just finished drafting my YA contemporary novel Chemicals Collide and am sinking into heavy revisions. While I’m revising, I’m going to start another YA contemporary called Walking Barefoot in the Rain… but before I start, I want to know that I’m moving forward, that my writing is improving, and that my dream of becoming a full-time writer is getting closer.

The only way I can see that happening is for my writing to constantly improve with each novel I pen. Which poses the question… how do you improve your writing?

One of the only foolproof ways I know, is to let others critically read your work. Find a beta-reader or critique partner and listen to what they have to say. Through critiquing I’ve learnt that I overuse adverbs, don’t pay enough attention to building stakes, and overuse words like ‘just’ and ‘so’.

I want to keep improving. So I want to know how you guys improve your writing? Do you read in your genre? Take workshops? Let me know.

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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64 Responses to How can you improve your writing?

  1. I love the pic that goes with this.

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  2. demostenes13 says:

    Much Congrats on finishing and much luck on editing!!!! 🙂
    I’d just thought i’d share a resource that has really helped me:
    http://www.writingexcuses.com/
    This is a podcast put together by four really successful authors that talks about basically every issue that writers face. I know it has at least doubled the quality of my writing!!! Hope it helps 🙂

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  3. Katie Robles says:

    Going to a writers conference helped a LOT. Huge leaps of learning. Reading books on how to write can also be helpful.

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  4. I think starting a new project while you’re editing is great Jodie! Not only does it give you a welcome distraction from tedious editing, but you may even discover something – a sentence, a paragraph, a description, a subplot – you can add to the piece you’re editing. Best of luck! 🙂

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  5. Congratulations on finish your draft! Editing’s the best part. You’ve done something great, now you’re making it better. To improve my writing I show it to other writers and ask them for their critiques. What’s working, what isn’t, where are the inconsistencies, and so on. I wouldn’t ask for a line-by-line edit — people get paid for that — but this is where having objective sets of eyes really helps.

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  6. lacolem1 says:

    The most efficient way I’ve improved is just by continuing to write. Fortunately, i love to write flash fiction, which allows me the convenience of being able to edit on the fly, and the satisfaction of actually completing work worthy to read in a decent time-frame. It’s taught me to trust my voice, my initial instincts, and how over-edit what makes my voice unique. When it’s time to write longer pieces, I feel pretty confident because of the smaller successes.

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  7. Dustin says:

    Read a lot and write a lot (per King’s On Writing.) It’s the best advice I know.

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  8. Michael56j says:

    I think that we can sometimes over work our writing. We will never be truly satisfied. As one artist put it, “Stop before the painting is finished.” Constant revisions can ruin the best art, craft, or writing.

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