How to Improve Your Writing Skills: Take Your Writing from Good to Great

You know you wish to enhance your writing, but you do not know HOW. What do you require to do to take your composing to the next level? Exist practical, actionable actions you can require to get your composing from GOOD to GREAT?

YES. Writing, like everything else, can benefit from what is called purposeful practice– a focused, disciplined effort at determining locations of enhancement (and after that, obviously, improving them).

Soooo … youve been composing for a while. Maybe you seriously got into writing fiction a year ago; perhaps youve been a freelance author for 3 or 4 years now. Maybe you began writing a book and it didnt go anywhere..

Heres how to improve your composing abilities– in three (or maybe four) easy actions


And do not forget to check out, check out, READ. The more you check out other writers work– specifically authors who are doing the exact same kind of work you d like to do– the more youll understand what it takes to make a piece of composing truly excellent.

( Remember, youll never ever get to GREAT if youre pleased with GOOD ENOUGH.).

Signing up with a community like the Freelance Writers Den, for example, can put you in touch with other freelancers and market specialists– and thats before you consider the task boards, writer website evaluations, and online bootcamps youll have the ability to access as a Den member..

If youre more into fiction than freelancing, you might partner with a review partner or work with a beta reader to find out where your writing is presently working– and where it isnt.

Prior to you can begin enhancing your writing skills, you require to examine your work– which suggests taking a truthful evaluation of what youre succeeding, what you might do better and which elements of your composing have actually stalled at “sufficient.”.

Ask a writer/editor/teacher you trust.
Check out composing by people you appreciate, in the genre/beat youre currently writing in, and do a truthful comparison of your work versus theirs.

Step 1: Evaluate your work.

If you wish to go the very first path, there are lots of methods to connect with other authors and make the type of buddies who can help you make your work much better.

This is the hardest part of the procedure, since writers arent constantly proficient at self-evaluation. In some cases we dont know where our work can improve, but there are two excellent ways to discover:.

Then, you can use what youve learned to improve your writing

Going from good to excellent is an incremental process. Dont try to alter everything youre doing at when, specifically if what youre doing is currently getting you some writing success. If editors are saying yes to your freelance composing pitches, for example, keep pitching. If you simply got a short story published, start writing another one.

If you wish to improve your writing, this sort of incremental improvement is among the very best methods to begin– but how do you do it?

If you do not know where to begin, return to that primary step and do a truthful self-assessment of your writing– or discover somebody who can help you assess your work and recognize one element of your writing that might benefit from a little skill-building.

Lets say, for example, that you have trouble writing an opening sentence. You might set yourself the goal of comprehending the difference between GOOD ENOUGH OPENING SENTENCES and GREAT OPENING SENTENCES if you desire to improve your composing skills. Then, you can use that info to get your opening sentences to GREAT.


Step 2: Identify one location in which to enhance your writing.

While youre continuing the work thats presently assisting you progress, choose ONE AREA in which to improve your composing abilities. Otherwise, your next piece is going to be simply as great as your very first one– and while that might certify as “sufficient,” it wont help you take your composing from GOOD to GREAT..

Thats where Step 3 is available in

Or parentheses.

Using detailed improvement to gain and build abilities proficiency seem like a deserving objective for any writer, however what does intentional practice appearance like in practice?

Or whatever it is youre wanting to improve in your own writing.

Perhaps you seriously got into composing fiction a year ago; possibly youve been a freelance author for three or 4 years now. Are there practical, actionable actions you can take to get your composing from GOOD to GREAT?


Because that sort of deliberate, focused practice is how you take your work from GOOD to GREAT.

Action 3: Begin practicing. Intentionally.

This is where a composing responsibility team can assist, both in regards to ensuring that youre focusing on locations of enhancement which youre actually improving your work.

Keep in mind, this type of work requires you to effectively determine not just what you arent currently doing well, however what youre presently doing JUST WELL ENOUGH– so make certain youre ready to assess and re-evaluate your composing as you continue to improve your composing abilities..

The procedure of composing well takes a lifetime, however the process of improving one incremental element of your craft can go a lot quicker than you realize. You may only require to dedicate a week– and even a couple of days– to opening sentences, and after that you may wish to proceed to discussion tags.


You might likewise utilize a tool like ProWritingAid to get an extensive report of what you do well and what you could do better– and after that work your way down the list of suggested enhancements, tackling one concern at a time.

Much has been stated about the composing practice, but not enough has been said about the purposeful writing practice.

What, exactly, is happening with Jane Austens famous opening sentence “It is a fact universally acknowledged, that a single man in ownership of a good fortune, must be in desire of a better half”? What type of details is being communicated to the reader, and what does the reader understand about what to anticipate from the rest of Pride and Prejudice?.

Well– if you were an author who wished to focus on enhancing your opening sentences, you d utilize part of your writing practice time to break down the differences in between your opening sentences and exceptional opening sentences.

Until youre no longer rating what a good opening sentence must be, since you already understand how to write an outstanding one.

Youll write opening sentences that do the very same things. In your own words, naturally. This isnt about copying Didion or Austen. This is about understanding why those sentences resonate with readers, and finding out how to create similarly resonant sentences that serve your own purposes and your own voice.

Lets say, for example, that you have problem writing an opening sentence. If you want to improve your composing abilities, you might set yourself the goal of comprehending the distinction between GOOD ENOUGH OPENING SENTENCES and GREAT OPENING SENTENCES. Youll compose opening sentences that do the exact same things.


Step 4: Repeat steps 1– 3.

Deliberate practice includes distinct, particular objectives and typically involves improving some element of the target performance; it is not targeted at some unclear total enhancement. […] Intentional practice almost always includes building or modifying previously obtained skills by concentrating on specific aspects of those skills and working to improve them particularly; gradually this detailed enhancement will eventually cause expert performance.

Purposeful practice is a term created by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Ericsson and Robert Pool in their book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Heres how they define it:.

Soooo … what tiny, incremental element of your craft do you wish to address first, and how are you going to use these actions to enhance your writing?

What about a classic essay like Joan Didions Goodbye to All That, which starts “It is simple to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see completions”? Whats Didion specifically making with her word choice, with her rhythms, with her parallel structure and use of the repeated “S”?

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