Writing Tips – 30 Minutes to better writing

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Scribbling away at a first draft teaches a person a lot. That’s obvious to anyone who’s written a novel when they turn back to page one to start their edit, and wonder, ” who the heck wrote this horrible piece of crap?” You learn a lot writing a novel, but you don’t need to spend weeks and months hashing out a first draft to become a better writer. This goes for anyone struggling with any long piece of writing, including an essay or assignment for school or college. But, for those, there are plenty of helpful services such as edupeet that can help students complete their essays to the best of their ability. Here are some simple tips that you can do everyday to make your pen (typewriter, keyboard) spit out better prose. It takes 30 minutes, and you can do that over a cup of coffee.

Believe it or not, you’re already doing one of these, so I decided to make it the first on the list.

Read writing advice put out by other writers.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post from a poet, a struggling first-novelist, or someone who lives off the money they make writing. Each of us, as writers, has our own ideas, our own tools that we are comfortable with, and our own methods for attracting muses. Any advice can be filtered in to one of two categories. This might work for me, or this totally won’t work for me. You can receive advice from companies just like, www.customwritingservice.com, they will help you from start-to-finish.

We’re all different, but the experience of others helps us to build and refine our own methods. It’s much easier for me, now, to knock out a first draft in a few weeks. It doesn’t even seem like a challenge anymore, and most of it was learned from reading helpful advice posted by other writers, and molding my environment as much as possible to facilitate the way that I write. Now if only I could edit so fast 😛

I would say don’t overdue this step. If you are currently hammering out a first draft, it can be easy to procrastinate by surfing the web for “writing help” or “research.” I think every novelist knows what I’m talking about here. We sometimes lie to ourselves that our online activity is a necessity when what we are really doing is making an excuse not to hammer out sentences, or why we missed that word count goal for the night. The bad part is, we usually know when we’re doing it, and we do it anyways. Resist the temptation. Set aside 15-30 minutes for internet time and then squash the rest until your writing homework is done.

Describe some everyday object with prose.

Between WIPs, it’s not the time to stop writing. You might not be spending hours at your computer punching out outlines, script, and prose, but you should still be writing something. I try to hold to my journal, writing at least 1-2 pages per day, even before I sit down to work on the next novel draft. Here’s the trick. Find an object. A particular cloud in the sky, a can of soda, your pen, a calculator, your laptop, phone, whatever, and try to describe it with colorful language. Looking around I see a monster iced tea, here’s a short example.

I look upon the explosion of faded fuschia highlights behind the clawed, black ‘m’ and white ‘monster’ logo, covered in a layer of sweat brought on by the promise of a cool, refreshing liquid inside. The pink tab, it’s highlights glowing in the reflection of the soft office light shining from above, standing so vividly against the black top, inviting me to taste the semi-sweet nectar trapped in its aluminum prison.

I know, that’s horrible. It’s also an unedited first draft of a vivid description of nothing. A lifeless energy drink can. Practice doing this can help you to bring all those wonderful words that are hiding inside you to the surface. When you need them for your story, they will be there, waiting.

Don’t fear the simile

Similes are awesome, I love them. Let me guess, too cliche’? That’s that point! Similes help you make a connection between two things that are otherwise unrelated, and they are the teen-aged black sheep of the metaphor world. You don’t want your whole novel dotted with the word “like,” that’s true enough, but metaphors tend to spawn from simile use. Using them often in your private writing will put your brain into association mode. After you’ve used the same one a couple times, you’ll be able to rephrase it and get your colorful metaphors, but when free writing especially, similes should be cherished for the wonderful, easy to write chunks of awesome that they are, like explosions in an action movie. Convert them to metaphor on rewrites and edits.

Write every day!

That’s right, that horse is dead and I’m still smashing up any bone pieces big enough to break. I shattered my bat, but I have a whole bag full of golf clubs, so stop acting surprised that this theme repeats itself so often. There is no substitute for practice. So take the writing challenge, start a journal, or just scribble on your co-worker’s desk when they take off for lunch. Write something every day. Don’t stop at the above suggestions, come up with new and creative ways to get those creative juices flowing, and then post those ideas in a comment 🙂 <- see what I did there? But for real. I love comments, so feel free to leave one. Feel free to one-up my can description in a comment to, let's see what you got. That can be your practice for today.


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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.

2 thoughts

  1. I definitely agree on the reading things by other writers. I have learned so much in the last six months (I think that’s about how old my Twitter account is). Sometimes all it needs is a little seed from someone else and it can revolutionise the way you write or think.

    I’m not sure I could write a first draft in a few weeks but then I’ve only had experience in it taking a few months. I’m happy with that though, as long as I am writing every day. It’s all progress.

    I like your idea about describing something mundane in detail. It’s good to take a really long look at something and see it in a new light.

    Sometimes I practise what I call my ten minute cough up. It’s basically ten minutes of writing whatever is in your head. It doesn’t have to make sense or even be grammatically correct but there’s something about doing it that is freeing, and it’s useful if you’re finding the words in your WIP are clogging up.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the ten minute cough up. Sounds like a good way to get word-hairballs out of your system, lol.

I love comments, feel free to leave one :)