My Top 10 Tips for Writers provides quick advice for authors on how to improve their writing.
Every writer develops their own voice. They each have their own unique mannerisms, quirks and ways of working. And we all learn what works best for us, as authors.
Creative writing tips for writers cover a variety of writing advice. From novel writing tips to short stories, the top tips may vary, but every author needs to make a list of the best tips that help their own writing. This is because tips for writing a book are not set in stone. This list covers 10 of the best writing tips for beginners, personal to my own writing.
I like having a set of rules that I write by, and a few quick ways to self-edit my writing. These may not work for everyone. They may be generic writing rules and advice applicable to all authors, or they may fly in the face of convention. But these are the writing tips that keep me focused, structured and able to maintain both my author voice and the quality of my writing.
In no particular order of importance, here’s my own personal Top 10 Tips for Writers.
Top 10 Tips for Writers
Only write the main story in real time – what is happening now (flashbacks/memories/visions are still fine)
Show, don’t tell – basic writing rule 101 right there! Have your character do something to display their emotion, rather than simply stating it
Don’t switch points of view within a chapter – you can relay two or more character’s emotions through observation from one
Near the start of new chapter, tell the reader where they are – describe the location – literally setting the scene
Write for all the senses, not just the eyes
Don’t use boring nouns, or use crazy adjectives to make boring nouns try to sound interesting!
Don’t describe the same thing twice, in a slightly different way – if you didn’t get your point across first try, rewrite it
Don’t use clichés – describe things in new and interesting ways – fresh descriptions and comparisons
Use short amounts of speech – no more than 3 sentences – with no small talk
Use he/she said for almost all speech – rarely use anything else – often use nothing at all!
These quick and easy top 10 writing tips have helped me get my writing noticed.
Advice for Writers
These top 10 author tips aren’t necessarily me saying that you should use these rules. Instead, they are merely an insight in to how I work. They will, however, improve the quality of your writing.
Writing the main story in real time keeps the reader engaged with the story, helping them care about your characters. Showing, rather than telling, will bring more action into your story, keeping it interesting, rather than boring a list of facts or details.
Frequently switching points of view will break immersion in the story and confuse the reader. It’s good practice to let the reader know where the events are unfolding near the beginning, so that their imaginations can begin bringing your story to life.
When you write for all the senses you draw your reader into the story and build well-rounded characters. Using interesting nouns can help you create the right atmosphere and feeling within your story, keeping reader’s attention.
Trust your reader to understand the points you are making in the first pass, rather than reiterating the same points over and over. Get proofreaders to check this for you. Never use clichés in your writing, as readers will easily be put off by hearing the same old descriptions and phrases.
Speech should be delivered in short bursts and to the point, rather than long rambling scripts. Don’t try to improve boring speech by saying that ‘he/she screamed’ or other extravagant ways of saying ‘he/she said’. The reader should know they screamed it from the rest of the action that is occurring around the speech.
Creative Writing Advice
Find more writing tips, guidance and advice to become the best writer you can be in How to Write Fiction: A Creative Writing Guide for Authors.
This creative writing guide for authors is designed to support you through your complete story journey and achieve success with your writing. The book has become a staple reference book for writers and those interested in a publishing career.
You can find further support in the Resources for Authors section of this website, including a further top 10 writing tips, in greater detail than my quick, personal tips listed here.
Best of luck with your writing!
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Aaron Mullins (@DrAaronMullins) is an award winning, internationally published psychologist and bestselling author. Aaron has over 15 years experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors. He owns Paperjoy Press, a publisher specialising in books that support mental health. He previously owned Birdtree Books Publishing where he worked as Editor-in-Chief, partnered with World Reader Charity and taught Academic Writing at Coventry University. Aaron’s book How to Write Fiction: A Creative Writing Guide for Authors has become a staple reference book for writers interested in a publishing career.