Write Like You Think

1 05 2013

Creative Writing Tips

How to Improve Writing Skills

Success secrets of great authors – revealed! These creative writing tips and writing techniques point the way to clear, concise, powerful prose.

Creative Writing Tip #1: Be Simple

Write in the simple, natural language of everyday speech. This doesn’t mean that you confine yourself to only the most basic words, but that you avoid pompous language, which may cloud your meaning or send readers to sleep.onceuponatime

For example, do not say, He acquired an instrument of destruction wherewith he decapitated the formidable foe, when you mean, With his axe he chopped off the giant’s head. Use short, familiar words rather than long, obscure ones – unless the longer word fits your meaning more precisely.

Most good writing is simple. Read the works of authors like Jack London and Ernest Hemingway; read the classics; read the Bible. Simple language is the strongest and most effective.

One way to acquire good style is to study the works of great writers: not to imitate them but to learn how simple language can be elegant, lyrical and powerful.

Read also Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style: this is probably the best book available on the subject of good style.

Creative Writing Tip #2: Be Yourself

Be yourself; be natural and sincere. Don’t try to imitate another writer’s style; find your own, the style that bears the stamp of your personality.

A guarded, polished style is like a faceless mask; it’s not real. Good writing resonates with the true voice of the human author, with all of that author’s warmth, wit, idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities.

Write as if you’re speaking to a friend. Your reader should be able to hear the rhythms and cadences of your speaking voice. Your family and friends should be able to say, “This sounds like you.”

Creative Writing Tip #3: Be Precise

Choose words that say precisely what you mean.

Avoid trite words like nice, interesting, big. As in: We had a nice dinner; That’s a big bird. Be specific. Is it sushi, wonton or mutton curry? Is it a flamingo, an eagle or an ostrich?

Avoid vague words like walk, laugh, pour. Be creative. The boy ambled, shuffled, swaggered; the villain scoffed, jeered, sneered; water gurgled, gushed, spurted out.

Avoid meaningless words like thing, something, somewhere. Be definite. Name the thing or place, use concrete words that evoke clear images: click on this link for more Creative Writing Tips on Concrete Words.

Get a thesaurus to help you. Roget’s Thesaurus, for example, is an indispensable reference tool. It comes in many versions; pick the one that best suits your needs.

stormy

A dictionary of synonyms helps too. Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, for example, tells you the subtle difference between almost similar words. Or get the compact version, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms.

Choose words that convey your message clearly to readers. Good writers look for the apt word, the word that carries the precise denotation and the strongest, richest connotations. For more Creative Writing Tips on Denotations and Connotations of Words, go to Good Word Choice.

Creative Writing Tip #4: Be Concise

Concise writing is clear and strong. Write to the point, cut out unnecessary words. This doesn’t mean that you throw out all details, descriptions and figures of speech but that you make every word pull its weight.

Cut out meaningless words and phrases like basically, personally, as a matter of fact.
As a matter of fact, today is my birthday has the same meaning as Today is my birthday.
Personally, I feel we shouldn’t go near the bull: can anyone ever feel impersonally?

Don’t repeat yourself. Phrases like round in shape, the reason is because, revert back, say the same thing twice.

Use strong action verbs. Sentences with active verbs are shorter and stronger than those with passive verbs.

Active Verb: The man bit the dog.
Passive Verb: The dog was bitten by the man.
Click here for more Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs.

Replace roundabout phrases like in the event of, by virtue of the fact that, by the name of, with single words that do the same job, like if, because, named.

Phrases like there is, there was, it was dilute your meaning:
There was a baby crying in the basket; it was the baby’s cry that woke him up.
Cut out the verbiage: A baby was crying in the basket; the baby’s cry woke him up.

Advertisements




I Have A Dream…

2 04 2013

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402No. I am not going to start quoting Martin Luther King, Jr (well I might), however, I too have a dream.  I have fantasized for years now about being a public speaker (funny thing to fantasize about for a woman who’s pretty shy around people, particularly strangers). Yet, I couldn’t see speaking about my novels. After all, anyone can write fiction and what purpose does it serve to speak about fiction. No, I wanted to speak about something meaningful, helpful, insightful.  The problem was, I hadn’t a clue what that something was.  Then I began reading motivational books, Osteen, Covey, Long, Ruiz, Sharma. Top it off with a meeting with one of those writers and an idea struck.  As a relationship therapist and blogger, I write motivational pieces all the time. What’s stopping me from writing about something that really helps and encourages me? After all, it might just help and encourage others.

SO… watch for some different writings from me in the near future (no, I’m not putting aside the sequel to Fatal Compulsions or my fourth novel as yet untitled; just putting them on the back burner for a while) and let me know what you think when I begin posting my ideas and trains of thought.  Just to help me stay on the right track.





From the Desk of The Cultural Purveyor

31 03 2013

I love following this genius at work. Any time I am stuck, unmotivated, experiencing the usual writer’s angst, I turn to The Cultural Purveyor for relief, insight, motivation, and a dose of reality.  All writers should be checking in with this guru (my personal opinion).  Here’s my dose of reality for today.CPphoto

WRITING MOTIVATION  by THE CULTURAL PURVEYOR

What inspires us to write? There is something inside us that must be let out… a craving to express ourselves with the written word. Our efforts might  be as short as a haiku, as long as War and Peace or anything in between. It doesn’t matter as long as the wordsmith muse within us is let free.

The Cultural Purveyor encourages the Arts in all its forms, most especially the Art of writing.

How though do you become inspired? Today we are sharing a short piece written by +pio dal cin .  His inspiration was a memory of an event in his past. For  him the memory was sweet and loving.

Not all memories are pleasant, nor do they have to be in order to be expressed. Today take your 15 minutes of writing time (you do carve out time to do that don’t you?) and think about something from your past. It can be humorous, sad, joyful or simply nostalgic and let your creativity flow.





Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley

17 02 2013

I recently did an interview with Morgen Bailey.  Be sure to check it out.

 

Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley.

via Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley.





Where to begin.

11 03 2012

I’m often asked how I come up with my stories.  To be honest, they tend to begin with a random thought that just kind of grows and feeds upon itself.  For example, Fatal Compulsions was born out of a need to physically hurt someone.  Let me explain this further before people who live close to me read this and begin to panic.. 

Before Fatal Compulsions was a book, it was one of those random thoughts that just pop into the mind out of seemingly nowhere. I was angry, bitterly so.  You know that anger that is black in nature, the kind that leads you to believe that you might actually cause someone else physical harm? It was that moment when I reached that depth in myself, that my subconscious mind met my conscious mind and began to create scenarios on how to inflict the most harm in the most satisfying ways.

I should point out here that I can be very creative and twisted.  However, I don’t believe myself capable of acting upon any of my imaginings.  For one, I know I’d too easily be caught for my crimes.  For another, I’m not exactly the violent type when it comes to putting thought to actions.  Good thing too.

But I digress.  So once my imagination began creating ways to exact revenge, it then needed to come up with a means to escape punishment for any potential criminal acts.  As my mind began along this train of supposition, it naturally flowed from being angry to creating a whole story about crimes that went unpunished. 

When I reach this point, my “fantasies” take on a life of their own and become an alternate reality that I dabble in mentally until the story clamors to be written down.  I find that if I don’t write these stories down, they become obsessive thoughts that refuse to let me rest.  They have already taken on a life of their own and demand to be birthed in the form of a book. 

Now, not all my imaginings make it through the birthing process.  Most die a slow and ignominious death at various points along the mental development stage..  But some are lucky enough to reach maturity. Hence the birth of Fatal Compulsions.

Word of warning to those who know me, don’t piss me off.  One of two things may happen.  You may end up in a case of “life mimicking fiction”. Or even worse, you may become immortalized in one of my books.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.








Relating To You

A site for learning about and sharing what you know about relationships we all deal with.

Darlene Craviotto

Can you all hear me in the back?

SpiritualChocolate

Living inside a Delicious Relationship with the Divine

Kirk's Fine Art Blog

Mostly about making art.

%d bloggers like this: