Good Writing tips

TOP TIPS: Ten Steps to better writing…

Many people believe they must possess an amazing vocabulary or write long descriptive prose to be a good writer. Sadly the way writing is sometimes taught at school – with much emphasis put on using unusual words and complex sentence construction – people are often put off altogether. Good Writing tips But whether you are writing a book, a press release or an article, the key is to keep it simple. Here are the top ten ways to identify good writing – and doing that is the first step to becoming a better writer yourself…

Good writing …

* Isn’t something you notice. When you read a book or a news article, you should be immersed in the story – and not the way it is written.

* Flows. If something is well written you can read it fast – you can even skim read it because it is clear and simple enough to scan.

* Isn’t something you need to re-read to understand. If you need to re-read a page or chapter in a book because you’ve literally lost the plot, it is badly written (and life’s too short to bother reading any further…)

* Doesn’t make you reach for the dictionary. In fact, a good writer can use words you might not have heard of before but because those words are used properly in context within a sentence, you will naturally understand them.

* Gets straight to the point. Any literary agent will tell you make or break for a book is often the first page (or the first chapter at worse) and in a press article or press release, people want the information straightaway. In this case the very first sentence is all-important.

* Isn’t stuffed with adjectives. In fact, a very good writer will use descriptive words sparingly, if at all. They can describe someone’s personality by relaying what they say in quotes and what they do.

* Can bring a scene alive. Tip: Some of the greatest writers only use ‘he/she said’ after quotes because ‘said’ disappears, leaving the quote standing out. But if you put ‘he/she sighed/laughed/guffawed/remonstrated’ – you break the spell and remind the reader this is a (badly written) novel or article.

* Leaves you wanting more. ‘Less is more’ should be tattooed on the back of every writer’s hand. Never ramble and bore your reader.

* Fits in and is appropriate. So a newspaper article will be written differently from a newspaper feature and the same story will again be something else in a book. It will then be described in another way in a press release about the author. Reading the same story, and the way it is dealt with by different mediums can help everyone develop their writing skills.

* Can be compared to a pearl necklace. Clever writing holds together as perfectly as a string of beads. It has a rhythm, it evokes emotion in the reader and is as beautiful.

Media agent Written by Alison Smith-Squire, a writer and journalist for over 25 years.

Do you have any more tips to add for good writing? Let us know in the comments below…

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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