5 Speedy Ways To Rework Your Writing

By on November 4, 2016
5 Speedy Ways To Rework Your Writing - Writer's Life.org

We all want to improve and learn when it comes to our writing. However, many of us simply don’t have the time to sit down and go through it all with a fine tooth comb. To read an entire book on ways to be a better writer, join a writing group or head off on a writing retreat to ‘find our voices’ and become truly inspired is simply a luxury many writers cannot afford!

If you are looking for ways to quickly spruce up your writing and get it in better shape, then read on. Here are some handy pocket-sized tips that are well worth remembering next time you sit down to edit your work, and your tired old writing brain needs something easy but effective to get you back into the swing of things.

Let's take a look a five quick writing fixes that can do just that.

1. Break up your paragraphs

Breaking up your text into short paragraphs can make your writing so much easier to read. This technique works well for both fiction and factual pieces. Once you have separated your paragraphs, you can examine them individually. Each one should have something new to say, should capture a thought or a point or a moment. The last sentence of each one should make the reader want to read the next.

2. Revisit old work

Often writers are sitting on a whole wealth of interesting writing material, and they didn’t even know it. Snippets from old stories, a half- written article ideas, a story that you started but never quite got round to finishing? Keep all of them and look back on them from time to time to see if they can be dusted off and reworked into a new story, or simply take these ideas and see if they inspire you to add or change the story you are working on now.

3. Beg borrow and steal

Other writers work is there to be examined, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do so. Each story that has ever been written contains a whole world of themes and characters and ideas. The more you read, the more you can be inspired by these, the more you can capture the things you like and use them for your own stories, and the more you’ll know what you are naturally turned off by too, which can be just as helpful.

4. Get rid of your adverbs

Read through your writing and highlight every adverb. Each and every time you come across one ask yourself whether you need it. Be ruthless. Often taking away your adverbs gives your manuscript an instant face-lift and your writing feels fresher, tighter and more fast-paced straight away.

5. Go on a cliche 'hunt and destroy'!

It is so easy to find ourselves writing in cliche’s - it’s not our fault, they are called cliche’s for a reason! However, being vigilant and spotting them in your work can help to change your writing. So avoid them like the plague and think outside the box otherwise your writing will feel as dead as a doornail!

Trying to improve your writing doesn’t necessarily mean locking yourself away in a room for hours and painstakingly going through your work. If you have a spare half an hour every now and again, you can use this to make a real difference to your writing. So next time you do, why not give these a go?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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