30 Tips to Improve Your Writing Now
Writing is a fundamental part of communication, yet many people are poor writers.
Part of becoming a great writer is practice. You become a better writer with every email, story or blog post you draft.
There also are things you can do to improve your writing immediately.
1. Do a word count. Cut your story by 10 percent.
2. Stop worrying about sounding smart. Jargon is lame.
3. Take out what doesn’t further your story, even if it’s interesting.
4. Find the expletives. Hunt them down.
5. Don’t use more than three prepositional phrases in a sentence.
6. Plan. Create an outline. Writing anxiety comes from a lack of process.
7. Print your story. Circle the verbs. Compare the active verbs to the “to be” ones.
8. Get one more source.
9. Put attribution at the first natural pause, even if it’s in the middle of a sentence.
10. Ask interesting questions in your interviews.
11. Don’t use the thesaurus.
12. Reword sentences with “could be.”
13. Delete “currently.” That’s what the present tense is for.
14. Understand what you’re writing about.
15. Make sure you have identifiable antecedents.
16. Verify the verifiable.
17. Don’t use the same words.
18. Question sentences longer than 23 words.
19. News first, attribution second.
20. Don’t make math excuses. Check your numbers.
21. Use eight digits or less in a paragraph.
22. Round off.
23. Cut clichés. Cut them right now.
24. Sharpen the picture with details instead of generalities.
25. Say what IS happening, not what is NOT happening.
26. Identify and answer the compelling question.
27. Write. Take a break. Edit.
28. Use “said.”
29. Read your story aloud.
30. Accept editing.