Jump to content
  • entries
    31
  • comments
    669
  • views
    6,710

So You Want to Be a Better Writer?

Mikiesboy

163 views

 

Readers for the most part are here to read. Not help us improve. Nothing wrong with that and mostly it's all good. That's the big draw on GA, the interactions with others. It's brilliant. I love the comments readers leave.

But there really is no book or magic beans or contract with the devil which will make you a better writer. So how to improve?

First you need some talent for the written word.

Second and maybe the biggest thing is: Authors have to improve themselves. 

It is lonely, hard and soul tearing work. 

How do we improve?

We do that by reading. Everyday.

We do that by paying attention to writers we like.

We listen to our editor and beta readers.  My editor, told me. He is skilled and has been writing for years. And i listened, and i worked.

And you write.

And write and write and write and then write some more. And you read your work and say, "Gah, that is shit."

It is not your child, or baby, it is your work.

And if your work is crap, you throw it out and you do it again.

That's how authors who want to, improve.

  • Like 2
  • Love 7


13 Comments


Recommended Comments

That sounds about right to me. 

I think GA is great for all levels of writers. Those who just enjoy writing and those who are very serious.

Nice blog, tim.  

  • Love 3

Share this comment


Link to comment

very well said!

as one of tim's team, i can attest to how hard he works at this.
and he's right. the only way to get better is to work at it.
and the same goes for anything you want to do, sports, cooking, playing a musical instrument.
you practice, you listen to your coaches (editors, beta reader) and you take it all in

glad you wrote this tim, it's good to have this conversation

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thank you for saying something I needed to read and hear today, and for saying it simply and powerfully.

  • Like 1
  • Love 3

Share this comment


Link to comment

Unfortunately some writers do not want to improve. They post with no outside editorial help at all. They apparently do not realize a writer can, and do, read over th same mistake over and over without catching it, because (s)he get caught in content rather than grammar or spelling. Worse is the author who argues why something is grammatically  incorrect. Granted dialogue should remain in character, and a 10 year old should not sound like an ivy league scholar, but the rest of the story should play by the basic rules, and an author who would rather argue than fix it is wasting the editors time.

  • Like 2
  • Love 2

Share this comment


Link to comment

First you need some talent for the written word.

Second and maybe the biggest thing is: Authors have to improve themselves. 

I agree entirely.

I used to believe everyone could write if only they wanted to. I'm nothing special when it comes to the written word, but I know how to build a story. Which ... turns out is sorta special after all. It took quite a while before I realized that was true. So ... I've got it. That little spark we need to tell a coherent, compelling tale.

For anybody with that spark, the second bit is the toughest. Without practice and exposure to that which we want to achieve we'll never improve. It's up to nobody but us. We have to be willing to hear the bad in addition to the good. We have to understand that our talent isn't perfect. It lets us begin the process of storytelling, but it doesn't make us masters of it. That's up to us. And the path to better are all of those things you listed above.

Nice post, tim. Thank you.

  • Like 1
  • Love 3

Share this comment


Link to comment

As a fairly new writer I totally get both of your points. 

I've been there already. I've reread what I wrote and even though my choice of words went a little further than "Gah, that is shit." I've still tossed out entire chapters and even scrapped a whole storyline and started over. 

It's how I learned. I'm still learning and I'm trying to push past my own self doubt by reaching out for help when I need it. I'm my own worst critic, so when I get constructive criticism I feel driven to improve.

Michael has a good point. GA is a great forum for writers of all levels. 

I just hope I can continue to improve and if my writing is truly shit, somebody please tell me. 

Thanks tim. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 5/22/2020 at 9:41 PM, MichaelS36 said:

That sounds about right to me. 

I think GA is great for all levels of writers. Those who just enjoy writing and those who are very serious.

Nice blog, tim.  

Thanks, Michael xo

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 5/22/2020 at 9:56 PM, mollyhousemouse said:

very well said!

as one of tim's team, i can attest to how hard he works at this.
and he's right. the only way to get better is to work at it.
and the same goes for anything you want to do, sports, cooking, playing a musical instrument.
you practice, you listen to your coaches (editors, beta reader) and you take it all in

glad you wrote this tim, it's good to have this conversation

 

Thanks, molly xo

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 5/22/2020 at 10:03 PM, Parker Owens said:

Thank you for saying something I needed to read and hear today, and for saying it simply and powerfully.

Thanks Parker ... hope you're able to make some time to write now.

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 5/23/2020 at 8:02 AM, Kitt said:

Unfortunately some writers do not want to improve. They post with no outside editorial help at all. They apparently do not realize a writer can, and do, read over th same mistake over and over without catching it, because (s)he get caught in content rather than grammar or spelling. Worse is the author who argues why something is grammatically  incorrect. Granted dialogue should remain in character, and a 10 year old should not sound like an ivy league scholar, but the rest of the story should play by the basic rules, and an author who would rather argue than fix it is wasting the editors time.

oh lord.. do i know that!!   @mollyhousemouse  is excellent at catching what all of us who read the work before her, miss.

Editors are invaluable. AC read The Searcher, even asked me to hurry up and send the chapters... He said i love it.. it's a great story.  Now ... here's what needs doing to improve it.  Sure, I had the moment of being human and thinking .. Damn! It's not perfect!!   But i listened and i did the work..and He was right and the extra things i did were worth the effort.

Thanks for your thoughts, Kitt.

  • Like 1
  • Love 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 5/23/2020 at 11:56 AM, Wayne Gray said:

First you need some talent for the written word.

Second and maybe the biggest thing is: Authors have to improve themselves. 

I agree entirely.

I used to believe everyone could write if only they wanted to. I'm nothing special when it comes to the written word, but I know how to build a story. Which ... turns out is sorta special after all. It took quite a while before I realized that was true. So ... I've got it. That little spark we need to tell a coherent, compelling tale.

For anybody with that spark, the second bit is the toughest. Without practice and exposure to that which we want to achieve we'll never improve. It's up to nobody but us. We have to be willing to hear the bad in addition to the good. We have to understand that our talent isn't perfect. It lets us begin the process of storytelling, but it doesn't make us masters of it. That's up to us. And the path to better are all of those things you listed above.

Nice post, tim. Thank you.

Yeah, we do need to listen and be honest with ourselves and be willing to work hard to make things as good as we can. It is worth the effort.  xo

Thanks for your comments.

  • Love 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
17 hours ago, kbois said:

As a fairly new writer I totally get both of your points. 

I've been there already. I've reread what I wrote and even though my choice of words went a little further than "Gah, that is shit." I've still tossed out entire chapters and even scrapped a whole storyline and started over. 

It's how I learned. I'm still learning and I'm trying to push past my own self doubt by reaching out for help when I need it. I'm my own worst critic, so when I get constructive criticism I feel driven to improve.

Michael has a good point. GA is a great forum for writers of all levels. 

I just hope I can continue to improve and if my writing is truly shit, somebody please tell me. 

Thanks tim. 

i think you're pretty open to others thoughts and ideas.  We are all still learning if we choose to. Some people don't care and just post whatever crap they want to. i often start things and just cannot continue reading them.  I wrote this blog because of a post in the Writer's Circle about doing honest reviews.  Most people dont want honest reviews ... i came from a site that used to give them and was very surprised that here...everything was just loved.  That's fine, unless you are really wanting to learn.

You will improve because you want to..  xo

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, Mikiesboy said:

You will improve because you want to..

All you really need to do is read, build a support team, and listen.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..