The article 4 Practical Exercises to Improve Writing Skills( and Keep Practicing ) appeared first on The Write Practice.
Have you ever heard what people tell children who want to play sports? Practice. Did you grow up with music lessons? You’ve probably heard the same thing. Keep practicing.
But can you apply the same philosophy to writing?
Not only is practising writing a good way to improve your writing skills–it’s essential to becoming a better writer.
And like all sharpened knowledge, there is a requirement to a good teacher or steer to push you–to help you practice. In this post, you’ll not only learn four steps to help you practice, but exercises to improve your writing skills along the way.
I Spent Two Years Practicing My Book( And Then I Published It !)
Practicing is hard work, specially when you merely start writing. Still, when you practice exercises to improve your writing skills, it will make a big difference.
It will push you to become a better writer–one who finishes, rewrites, and publishes a book.
I spent two years practicing before writing my novel Headspace.
I read books, wrote short narratives, studied and learned.
I often asked myself if this was all worth it. Am I actually learning? Or am I just clowning myself? When you’re in the grind of the working day to period, it’s hard to see the improvement.
But when I finally sat down to write the book, it all came together, almost like magic.
Not only was my overall writing improved, but I was able to identify what I needed and how to best utilize different parts of the story.
Headspace is now published, and you can pick up a print now.
An alien game show. A deadly challenge. The fate of the world is on Astra’s shoulders. Will she originating from the arena a hero, or only another headline?
The Myth About Writing Skills
There is an assumption both among brand-new writers and non-writers that writing is something that comes innately. In other words, you are either a good columnist or you are not and there is no way to change that.
This is completely and completely false.
I was once one of those people who did not believe in learning or practising writing. Knowledge that involve practice are usually associated with “muscle memory”–sports, playing existing instruments, even making art.
Writing is a abysmally cerebral process, and the relevant recommendations of practicing something that’s all mental and very little physical seems absurd. Work out your psyche? How does that work?
The fact is, mental skills is impossible to practiced just like physical skills–your psyche is just as much a muscle as your hamstring. It may be a little difficult to comprehend this at first, but it need not be. Not when you have a system that will help you practice writing well.
What is Practice?
What is practise, genuinely?
It’s common to think of practice as doing something over and over. Images of players extending laps and doing drills come to mind. But it’s actually more complicated than that. Practice is not simply a linear line of repeating. It is incremental. If I had to threw it in a formula, I set it like this 😛 TAGEND Practice= Knowledge x Repetition
Without learning, rule is just mindless activities. You start your jaunt of mastering any ability by first discover the founding principles of that knowledge. You then threw that new knowledge to use until “youre feeling” comfy with it. Next, you learn something new, and practise that until you’re comfortable with it. Rinse and repeat.
This might sound like a tedious process. However, bear in mind that this is the exact process followed by any and all professionals in any arena. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, artists, musicians . . . the skills vary, but the process does not. Learn something, rule it, learn something else, practice it again.
Even past their years of school learning, these professionals continue to learn on the number of jobs, and then practice what they learned by use that acquired knowledge in their work.
Practicing without learning is inefficient, and study without practice is ineffective.
So how do we apply this to writing? How can be utilized practises to improve writing skills?
“ Practicing without learning is inefficient, and discover without practise is ineffective. If you want to improve your writing skills, you need to practice. Tweet thisTweet 4 Steps to Effectively Practice Your Writing
Practicing need not be hard or enduring. There is a misconception that the repetition of praciting something can be dull and laborious. And sure, sometimes it can be. But it doesn’t have to be boring all the time , not if you’re doing it correctly.
Let’s take a look at the four simple steps to practicing 😛 TAGEND 1. Find a target
Notice I didn’t say “set a goal.” This is because targets and goals are different. Purposes are defined tangibly–write a short story, finish a journal, take a class. There is a definitive “end” to goals. Targets are more abstract.
You might wants to know why I would encourage you to choose something abstract when I’ve emphasized the importance of clear, achievable goals in the past. This is because rule has no end.
As anyone who has practised anything would tell you, “were not receiving” true extremity to rehearse because no one ever really “masters” a skill of various kinds. We all rule continuously to improve. Even the old art and music masters continue to practice until their final days, seeking to become just a little bit better.
Fortunately, we don’t need to master writing. We merely need to improve.
How do we improve our writing abilities?
We define a target–an field in our writing knowledge we need to improve.
There are many aspects of writing to study: point of view, sentence structure, word choice, character development, merely to identify a few cases. The alternatives are endless.
The best route to approach defining a target is by looking at your ultimate objective, what is keeping you from achieving it, and the steps needed to overcome that obstacle.
Here’s two examples 😛 TAGEND
Ultimate purpose: write a good, fast-paced commercial science fiction fiction Obstacle: not very good/ not familiar with how to structure a fast-paced novel Target: improve fiction planning/ arrangement skills
Using practises to improve writing skills will help this.( I’ll provide some for you to try at the bottom of this post .)
2. Find Your Resources
Now that you have your target, it’s time to evaluate what’s at your disposal. When you don’t have a target, the vast amount of knowledge out there can be overwhelming. But with a target, you are able to easily narrow down what area you need to focus on.
In our lesson, we are looking for lessons on structuring.
In searching for knowledge, it’s also important to consider what technique of read what works best for you. Everyone learns differently. Here are a few common types of learning 😛 TAGEND Books
This one ran best for me. Reading volumes on writing has been extremely helpful and important. Books are also flexible and easy to pick up or put down. A plenty of story columnists also write volumes on writing, so if you are trying to write in a certain genre, it’s worth appear up journals on writing by other novelists who are in the same genre.
To get you started, here are some books I’d recommend you read 😛 TAGEND
On Writing by Stephen King. When I finally decided to sit down and read a book on writing for the first time, this was the one I speak. On Writing is light on technique, heavy on honest, and easy to digest. It’s a look at the path of a columnist in real life and how to not give up.
Write Great Fiction by James Scott Bell, Ron Zozelle, Nancy Kress, and Gloria Kempton. I read this series while struggling to understand how writing fiction employments and how to define my own style. It offers detailed instruction on how to approach several aspects of writing, such as structure, dialogue, giving, and more. It’s excellent for house foundational skills.
Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. This is a great reference to keep around. This journal lists well-known novels and breaks down each one into a format that indicates how it fits one of a handful of plot templates. When you’re trying to figure out your own writing, it’s very useful to be able to identify a comparable journal in your genre and be seen to what extent it’s laid out.
Online pre-recorded classes
There are numerous programs online that teach either writing in general or a targeted region. These grades are flexible and easy to access, and usually not abysmally expensive.
However, the drawback is that they’re not interactive by nature and it’s entirely up to you to get through the class and understand the material.
Whether in person or online, live grades can be a great resource. They’re interactive and allow you to connect with the instruction as well as your writing peers. They can be quite effective and also foster your connection with the writing community. Nonetheless, these class are also generally more expensive and may be held at a time inconvenient to you.
If you choose to attend live first-class, make sure they working in collaboration with your target, fund, and schedule.
Articles and blogs
Articles and blogs can serve as great quick citations when you want to tackle a certain problem. However, they don’t supersede a book or a class. You got to find a quick writing tip-off or solution in an clause, but to truly learn and improve a knowledge, there aren’t any shortcuts. You need to excavation deep.
3. Set a Schedule
I can’t stress this enough–professionals defined schedules.
A doctor doesn’t show up to work arbitrarily, whenever they feel like it. A business owned doesn’t skip a day because they don’t want to oversee the shop that day. Setting aside time on a regular basis to both learn and rule is important. You can usually find some pocket of time in your day through a occasion audit, which I clarify more in this post.
For learning and practicing writing, I recommend a weekly schedule rather than a daily one, as it’s not generally realistic to expect yourself to return to the task every day. Most of us do not have the luxury of constructing writing our period job, so while it’s important to be disciplined, it’s also crucial to be realistic.
When setting a schedule, remember to 😛 TAGEND
Give yourself spate of day Factor in a few extra days for when life-time get in accordance with the rules Schedule around busier hours, like vacations when you know you can’t write Decide on how to “make up” days you miss Use your time wisely and focus on your target
Practicing, in its simplest terms, means to implement something you’ve learned until you feel comfortable with it. It are similar as a musician playing a chord over and over, or a gymnast doing the same routine multiple times, or an engineer implementing the same formulas and methods on different projects. The more something is used, the better you get at use it.
“ The more a ability is utilized, the better you get at it. The same applies for writing–you need to practice to improve your writing skills.
This post teaches you how in four manageable steps. Tweet thisTweet
Let’s go back to our example from step one.
The target was to become better at structuring. We’ve spoke the books, taken the world-class, and understood the concepts. We’ve set aside time. Now, all it takes is to threw it to use.
Here are a few workouts to improve you writing knowledge by practicing fiction structure 😛 TAGEND Write a short story
Short tales are easy and fast to complete but have all the same structural elements as a journal. By practicing short narratives, you can get more comfy with how a tale should flow. If you need writing prompts, this post offers 100 short tales hypothesis to get you started.
Write the details of the fiction synopsis
A synopsis forces you to consider the overall logstics of the story, as well as allows you to see how structure operates from a bird’s eye view.
There’s a long line at the end of the debates between what’s better, pantsing or storying. Even if you’re a pantser, some sort of an outline, like a brief synopsis, will help keep you focused when writing a book–and help you evade burnout.
Write a chapter-by-chapter summary of your volume
When you lay out what should happen in each chapter before you start writing, you’re forced to consider how the events of a journal tie into each other without having to go into great detail of exactly what happens. “Thats one” step farther than the synopsis and helps determine when and how the different elements of plot take place.
For a more detailed outline of a chapter, turn to the six elements of plot.
I promise, knowing these editing( and writing) notions will make a big difference.
Write a practice book
This may sound like a lot. However, practice volumes can be fun. There are no beliefs of quality , no responsibility to readers, and no governs. You can test out anything you want, move and change articles, change attributes halfway through, and actually allow yourself to play and have fun.
Sometimes, a little fun is just what’s needed to establish rule feel less dull.
4 Writing Exercises to Improve Your Writing Skills
To threw these tips-off into action, there is four creative writing exerts you can start doing today 😛 TAGEND 1. Fill a Blank Page
Set aside an hour and fill an entire page. This can be the start of a book draft, a short story, a narrative suggestion, blogging, or just free writing. One page is not a huge demand, but is enough words to get the juices flowing. Sometimes all you need is to give your stream of consciousness permission to flow.
2. Write Flash Fiction
Flash fiction is an interesting piece of writing. It’s short. So short that it can be only a few words.
I’ve read twinkling fiction that are comprised of simply two words but speak volumns. If you’re not familiar with writing flash fiction, or feel daunted by the idea, try it in reverse: write out a narrative premise, then reduce the words to see how many you can cut out and still retain the essence of the story.
You just might be surprised at how few terms it takes to still get your point across.
3. Use a New Word
Creative columnists are constantly learning brand-new things. Expanding your vocabulary is in relation to this. While you don’t have to constantly fill your tale with flowery speech to achieve great writing, it’s beneficial to have a good selection of words to choose from.
Try finding a word you’ve never put-upon before and writing a little passage employ it. This can be combined with any of the other three exerts, and is in fact spurred because it will help you become more comfy integrating new words into your writing.
4. Switch the Point of View
Writing a narrative from a different character’s point of view can provide a lot of revelation and flex your creative muscles. Writing from a different POV is more than only rewriting the same story, because every sequence of events presents a different story to different characters.
One person’s joy may be another person’s tragedy. Seeing a story’s events from a different POV forces you outside the box and truly consider how to reframe an event or communicate a different message.
Learn, Practice, Repeat
This is the tough proportion. This is the part that’s all up to you. You can do all the prep you like, find all the references, but in the end, you have to get into the practicing state of mind and keep yourself on assignment. Remember the process 😛 TAGEND
Identify your target Study your target area Schedule your practice occasion Rule what you’ve learned
And when you’re ready, find a new target to practice and reiterate. Practice can shape the distinctions between a good novelist and a great writer.
There is some flexibility to this system. You can read up on multiple regions at once, try out multiple methods of learning, and planned your practice in spurts instead of at a steady daily pace.
But the key here is to keep going and don’t give up.
You will have rough periods. Days where you’re birthed of studying. Days where it may seem like there’s no end.
These are the days where you may have to stair away for a bit, but ever is coming and keep going.
Because writing skills can be learned–and when you keep coming back to the page again and again to practice, you’ll become a better writer.
What exerts do you use to improve your writing abilities? Let us know in the notes.
When it comes to practicing your writing skills, it’s best to find your target.
What’s one target area you’d like to improve in your writing? Pick one thing you’d like to work on. Here are a few ideas to get you started: point of view, phrase structure, word select, persona growing, narrative structure.
Next, pick one of these practice exercises: fill a blank page, write twinkling fiction, or use a new word.( Scroll back up for the instructions if you need a refresher on more detailed information .)
Now, take fifteen minutes to complete that practice exercise. Keep your target area in mind as you write.
When your time is up, let us well known it went by sharing your work in the comments, and don’t forget to give feedback on your fellow novelists’ employments!
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