You have it in you to be a great writer. You also have it in your to have elevated writing skills.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to realize that, especially when you start doubting your skills.
No matter how long you’ve been writing, sometimes, Mrs. Doubt likes to kick in and bring your self-confidence down.
Soon you find yourself googling how to improve your writing skills. Or perhaps you doubt yourself so much you start looking for different job opportunities.
As a full-time freelance writer, I’ve had to realize that sometimes you get complacent with your work. Or, since I’m a freelancer, no one is around to say, “Hey girl, you’re killing it!”
That leads me into my research journey of how I can help you and me elevate our writing skills.
Cause let’s face it, sometimes you need a little boost. Plus, it’s fun to be reminded that you’re doing things RIGHT!
Remember high school when you were worried about using commas? Did you use enough, are they used correctly, etc.
Well, get ready to feel the comma pressure once more. Even though many people have no idea how to use a comma it is wise to have a good basic grasp of English Grammar.
Believe it or not, there are readers, writers, and general public folks who know exactly what good grammar looks like.
You can practice your skills by checking out a few Grammar books, that spell out the tricky rules for you.
I like to use Grammar books every now and again just to reaffirm that I am doing something to write.
Some that I suggest are:
- The English Grammar WorkBook For Adults
- Actually the Comma Goes Here
- How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything
While I know it may seem daunting to review Grammar lessons, trust me, it makes a world of difference when trying to elevate your writing style.
There is nothing wrong with learning new or relearning things. I think it is highly recommended.
Even though I thought of myself as a wordsmith, I noticed I needed some help with my wordiness.
This is ok when you are working on a work of fiction, but when it comes to “getting to the point,” for say, selling something, wordiness is not the way to go.
How to Easily Create a Writing Sample
How to Elevate Your Writing Style
1. Write every day
One of the easiest ways to keep creative juices flowing so “writing every day” doesn’t feel so much like a chore is to use writing prompts.
Luckily there are many websites and books available to help you with your goals.
Some of my favorite books are:
Secret Tips for Staying Organized
2. Plan Your Writing
When it comes to putting your ideas down on paper it takes time and requires some kind of planning. Create an outline to help keep your thoughts and ideas organized.
For me an outline is daunting but it is also everything. I use my outline to help me make sure that my plot is hashed out and tight.
The outline is also useful to show any flaws that may appear in the climax, plot, and character development. (Yes, my planning is very deep).
A sample of my outline is as follows:
Character: Using a notebook, yes a notebook because hey it gets convoluted and confusing sometimes.
And if you have a lot of characters as you see in books such as “Harry Potter” and “Twilight”, having a reference to their backstories is incredibly useful.
Write out all the characters you feel should be included in this story, and write one-line descriptions of each character. Then choose the main character.
I like to give myself free rein on how I hash out the details. Keeping in mind the who, what, when, why, and how.
You could just go for it for hours like I do until I feel empty or you could set a 15-20 minute timer.
Of course, you can add any details you like regarding your character, it is after all your book!
Example: In my WWII novel my main character is Sophie.
- Role in Story:
- Physical Description:
- Background: (examples birth date, age, family history, and much more.
- Internal/external conflicts
For the actual story outline I include the following:
Situation: This is the What and the why of your story.
Beginning-Using the main character because it shows immediately what the story is about, and shows the world of the main character.
Try to highlight how the character lives and their personality traits. What are the character’s dreams, and goals?
What inciting event will forever change the Main Character.
Middle- Trap your main character into a situation outside of their control. Force the Main characters’ goals far out of their reach. Give them new goals, what struggles and complications are coming to them?
What causes the main character to take charge and rush towards their goal?
In my WIP my main character doesn’t want anything to do with the Nazis or the Resistance. She thinks she can stay neutral.
However, she soon finds herself in a situation where she has to choose, either be a sympathizer or join the Resistance.
It is when she witnesses the treatment of abandoned children and starving men and women that she decides to work with the resistance until she can run away to her family estate where she can be out of the politics/drama of the occupation.
Ending- Allow the main character’s insight to understand themselves, particularly their flaws.
The main character needs to see how they can become better in order to defeat the antagonist.
The character must overcome their mental and internal struggles before they can find the strength to defeat outside forces.
The character is beaten down, almost losing until the last transformation, where the main character bounces back and becomes the hero.
Force them to respond in unique ways. Finally, allow the character to reach their goal.
Maybe that goal has changed, or perhaps it has just expanded.
Maybe the goal turned out to be better than they imagined, or worse if you’re clever.
Words to help Elevate Your Writing
Reading is a great way to build your vocabulary and introduce you to new ways to use words.
When you’re not writing you should be reading!
I know, where can you find the time to do all of this!
I find keeping a schedule helps out.
I know that I work best in the morning, mainly because my husband and children are still asleep. So I try to do my most tedious work before they get up.
When it comes to reading material you could stick to reading books that you find interesting and want to write.
For me, at the moment, I am reading a lot of period drama books and history books.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you read fiction, non-fiction or whatever, just as long as you read.
I personally feel reading helps keep my ideas fresh at the same time keeps me motivated.
How to Create a Portfolio without Experience
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When it comes to elevating your writing style or keeping it fresh, remember to do what works for you.
Keeping my writing fresh begins with reminding myself why I fell in love with writing in the first place.
I love reading, and so I use my love for reading to help elevate my writing style while exposing me to different writing styles.
I love a good planning sheet; I keep my novel background/outlines/character sheets in a binder for quick reference because it helps keep me focused.
Writing takes a lot of energy and time, but it also takes creativity, and while sometimes creativity can dull, your heart and love for the craft are not.
Now get to writing!