Great Writing Tips That Everyone Should Know

10 of our favourites for wannabe writers

What are the basic skills, tips and tricks that all writers should be aware of?

Inspired by this brilliant thread on Quora, The Help Me Write team has picked some of our favourite tips from friendly writers, authors, entrepreneurs and creatives.

 

Read, Read, Read

Reading is not just important to help you become a better writer, it is essential in helping you become a better thinker to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you. Expanding both your knowledge base and your vocabulary will enable to see the world in a new light.


Photo by CBM

Forget the clutter

The most basic skill a writer can have is the ability to describe things simply and clearly, which means either painting a concrete picture or making a clear argument. It also means using easy but exacting words and to-the-point syntax.


Know your audience.  

Know their patience, their reading level, how much of their valuable attention they’re likely to give you at the outset, their knowledge of the subject. Your decisions about things like sentence length, vocabulary and whether or not to put the bottom line up front is informed by your audience.


Push your audience, gently.

Write at the level that the majority of your audience can just manage. Stretch them, but only a little.


Keep it spicy

Write as if your reader is about to get bored and stop reading at any moment. If you’re writing about something complex, make sure the reader cares enough to go on.


Photo by Harris Graber

Have a notebook handy

Write things down! Rather than trying to remember ideas, snippets of overheard dialogue and inspiration, make sure you’re jotting them down in a notebook. It means they can’t be forgotten, and scribbled notes might trigger a new idea when gone back to with fresh eyes.


Don’t go it alone

Every writer needs an editor.


The proof of the pudding is in the eating

No learning process is finite. Actively solicit feedback, harangue others to critique your pieces and note down what they feel. You may not think they are right, heck, they may not even be “right”. But even if they think they are right and not really are, it is still your fault. Your communication needs improvement. The onus is always on the writer to engage his readers.

Photo by Andrew M Lance

Keep going

Consistent output is the easiest way to reach your writing goals.

Just do it

Don’t think too much about it. Don’t try to make it perfect in the first draft. Just write and see what comes out.


All quotes are extracted from this post on Quora by contributors Marcus Geduld Roman SkaskiwDave Larsen,Michael Hochster, Aman Anand  Harish Aditham,  Dan Watters,  Cheryl Stephens,  Daren Smith and Alexandra Goodman.

We hope you enjoyed that. We sure did. Please join our Sunday Post group when every Sunday we make time to write. Still don’t know what to write about? We’ve got an app for that. Check out our Help Me Write community.

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

― Mark Twain 

Cheers,

The Makeshift Team