10 Top Tips for Great Writing

Sometimes writing could be quite a difficult task. Whether you're writing an essay or a short story, there's always a time where you find that you don't know how to start or continue your work, or just feel like it isn't that good in general. Here are some tips to help you with writing.

1. READING! I know you've probably heard this before, but reading is a good way to improve your writing. It not only expands your knowledge on vocabulary, but the work of others could also demonstrate how to structure certain types of writing and how to word certain phrases to make it sound better or more suitable depending on the context. By reading, you are looking at examples of existing work and therefore learning techniques from them. Furthermore, the work of others could give you inspiration for writing your own stories. This is a useful way to improve your writing.

2. Try not to rush. Although meeting a deadline is important, you shouldn’t rush your work too much. One way to avoid this is to plan out how long you could write for a day and arrange your work accordingly. There’s no point on working on a very good introduction for 5 days if you’re just going to rush when you write the rest to meet the one week deadline. Therefore, make the length of your writing reasonable. If there isn’t a deadline, then take your time. Remember, quality over quantity.

3. Try to write about something that either interests you or you’re familiar with. Sometimes, it will become difficult to finish a certain piece of writing due to the fact that you’ve lost interest in it. To prevent this, you would need to choose to write about a topic that interests you and/or are willing to research more about. Existing knowledge of a certain topic could make it an ideal topic for you to write about as well. Allowing you to finish the piece more quickly, without additional time used on researching.

4. Add details. This applies to all types of writings, whether it is an informative article or just a short story, adding details could help the reader with understanding what you are trying to show them. More vivid details allow you to help the reader paint a clear image in their heads. For example, ‘show, not tell’ is a great technique to create tension in a horror story or to help the readers visualise a situation much more easily. By describing a certain thing or situation to the readers, you are helping them form a picture of that in their heads, and the more description the clearer the picture becomes. Therefore, details are something that you definitely want to include in writings.

5. Get feedback from your peers. Sometimes other people could give you very useful tips to improve your work. Getting comments from others are useful because you’re getting feedback from someone who read your writing from another point of view. This means that they might be able to spot things you had overlooked before. This is quite useful for improving your work and writing a second draft.

6. Plan first! Gather all your thoughts before putting them into good sentences. Your plan only has to make sense to you, so things like grammar and punctuation wouldn’t matter. Planning you work simply means that you’re writing all your ideas down and structuring your writing, making sure you’re not missing anything and have something to follow. This would really help people who have trouble thinking of ideas and using various writing techniques at the same time.

7. Write down random ideas that pop into your head. It doesn’t matter if you think the idea is completely random, record it somewhere that you could access easily. When you have a lot of ideas down, you could find links between them and would be able to make them into complete writings. They could also give you some inspiration when you’re stuck. If you don’t record these idea, it is very likely that you would forget them very quickly, so it is always useful to keep some sort of ‘idea diary’ around.

8. Write multiple drafts. Most of the time, your first draft isn’t your best one, and this is totally fine if you’re writing multiple drafts. By editing it and creating more drafts you could correct mistakes and add in anything that you thought of after you finished writing. This way, you would be able spend more time on this and identify more mistakes as well. This would improve the quality of your writing dramatically.

9. Find your ideal writing environment. Some people find that writing in a quiet environment could boost their inspiration, while others find listening to music in their room could have the exact same effect. Everyone have that one place where inspirations kind of just flows into their heads naturally. It is good to have a set place for writing as well as a set time (if possible). This could make writing much more enjoyable and less stressful since the ideas constantly come into your head.

10. Practise! Although there are many things that could improve your writing, having some experience in writing could be the most helpful. The more you write, the better your writing becomes. Writing some mini stories/essays could easily benefit you in the future, even if you don’t realise it. By writing you know what you’re good at and what could be improved the next time you decide to write.

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