In this week’s column I’m looking at writing style and in particular how to improve it. I’ve come up with a selection of links that I hope you’ll find useful. These include tips and advice as well as exercises on how to improve your writing style. Many of the links I’ve chosen are in tip format and won’t take long to read. The exercises can be done in minutes too. If you are looking to improve your writing style this year, these links should help.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tips-for-improving-your-writing-style – 8 Tips for Improving Your Writing Style: This article is from MasterClass and it talks about the different elements that make up a good writing style. These include simple words, short sentences, and words that will engage with readers. The article is broken into three sections and in the first you’ll learn what writing style means. The second section discusses the four types of writing styles, and the third section offers 8 tips for improving your writing style. One of the tips includes the use of active voice but the rest are just as valuable.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/improve-my-writing/brush-up-on-your-style-in-10-minutes-or-less – How to Improve Your Writing Style in 10 Minutes or Fewer: This is an article from Writer’s Digest and while it was written back in 2010, the advice is still as relevant today. The articles contains 10 tips and exercises that are designed to make your writing better. The tips include things like using simple language, trimming back on overlong sentences, avoiding redundancies, using active voice, opt for verbs over nouns, being specific, and more. It is well worth the read and doing the exercises if you are looking to improve your writing style and skills.
- https://www.oxford-royale.com/articles/8-easy-ways-to-improve-your-writing-style/ – 8 Ways to Improve Your Writing Style: This article contains 8 very useful tips that you can use to improve your prose and writing style. Each tip is described in detail and includes things like using fewer adverbs, looking at the rhyme and rhythm of your sentences, being consistent, using shorter paragraphs and more. There were some tips that I hadn’t heard of such as phrasal verbs and it is worth having a read to see what you might pick up too.
- https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/07/improve-writing-skills – 16 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills: While this article does focus on copywriting skills, a lot of it is relevant and useful for fiction writers too. There are things such as learning the basics of grammar and spelling, dissecting the writing of authors you admire to see how they create the phrases that draw you in and capture your attention, how outlines can be your friend, editing, eliminating unnecessary words, and more.
- https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-improve-writing-skills/ – Improve Writing Skills Dramatically by Doing These 15 Things: This is another excellent list based article that offers practical advice on honing your writing skills. These include things like making sure your concepts are clear, anticipating reader questions, eliminating filler words and phrases, being careful with adverbs, using simple words to make your writing more conversational, using contractions, keep your sentences simple, the importance of reading out loud, and of course practice. There are some great examples in this article too.
- https://thewritepractice.com/writing-style/ – 10 Essential Tips To Improve Your Writing Style: In this article you’ll find 10 short tips followed by an exercise you can complete at the end. It’s a quick read with tips such as using active voice, using nouns and verbs, avoiding qualifiers, not over explaining, revisions, and omitting filler words. There are two practice exercises listed at the end of the article to help you put everything into practice.
- https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/develop-unique-writing-style/ – 10 Ways to Stand Out and Develop A Unique Writing Style: This article is all about ways to make your writing shine and the first tip is to use your experiences as a springboard. There are examples included that help to showcase this idea. There’s information on the importance of making your observations unique and on how to use all the senses. Tip 4 deals with showing and tip 5 is about avoiding cliches. Tip 8 is about creating strong authentic voices for your characters and tip 10 is about creating a writing habit.
- https://www.well-storied.com/blog/how-fiction-writers-can-improve-quality-of-prose – How Fiction Writers Can Improve The Quality of Their Prose: This article can be read or you can listen to it via the Well-Storied Podcast. It is broken down into sections with the first one being how to improve your prose as you write your novel. There are five elements to look at which include voice, point of view and tense, atmosphere, mood, and purpose. The next section looks at how to improve your prose as you revise and this also has 5 elements. These elements are exposition, description, action, dialogue, and inner dialogue. The final section is how to improve as you edit and this has 7 elements for you to look at. These include diction, syntax, brevity, simplicity, metaphors and similes, dialogue and action tags, and micro-pacing. I found this article extremely beneficial and I hope you do too.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/different-writing-styles-10-tips/ – 10 Tips to Master Ways of Writing: This article begins by exploring what style is in writing and the first tip offers is to get yourself a good writing style guide. The second tip is to study paragraphs from your favourite authors. There’s information on playing with sentence structure and how to avoid bad grammar and punctuation. Tip 4 is very interesting and it involves learning about style by giving and receiving feedback. Tip 9 looks at adverbs and adjectives and Tip 10 is all about developing a style that is appropriate for your reading audience.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the links this week and are getting ready to practice all the advice given. If there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.
(c) Amanda J Evans