I promise, I’m not so arrogant that I think I’m IT when it comes to writing. But there are some easy tricks you can use that will make your writing better. Here are five top tips.
- Read it out loud. Obvious, but effective, this will help you figure out if your words work.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs. Nowadays, people read on tablets and their phones. It’s much easier if the text has been optimised for that kind of reading, which means two to three sentence paragraphs and sentences that are about 11-18 words.
- Do not repeat. The number one mistake amateurs make is to repeat themselves—words, phrases, sentences, ideas. I say this because I’m the number one offender!
- Stay away from adverbs and adjectives. It’s the cry wolf thing. Use them too often and people ignore their meaning. And think you’re a shit writer. Use them sparingly and they are effective.
- Work on your synopsis first. I promise—this is game changer. Plan your novel because it makes writing a book much easier. I like the Nick Stephenson method: preparation phase, game-changer one, reactive phase, game-changer two, proactive phase, game-changer three, conclusion.