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How Do You Hone Your Writing Skills?

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  #1  
Old 12-24-2015, 05:11 PM
CDawson (Offline)
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Default How Do You Hone Your Writing Skills?


There's nothing worse than verbose prose. I think that reading poetry is a good way to make your prose more succinct. Reading Hemingway is good practice also. Finally, I write leads to newspaper articles with a word count between 25 - 40 words while answering who, what, when, and where. How do you hone your writing skills?

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Old 12-25-2015, 02:12 PM
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Hi CDawson.l How be thee on this Christmas Day?

You forgot the 'why' and sometimes 'how'.

Otherwise, you nailed Journalism: the 5 w's and sometimes an h.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:01 PM
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Personally I don't worry about being verbose or not when I'm writing something. I find it's better to just get stuff down then trim it off later. It's much harder (at least for me) to come back later and get myself back in the flow of a scene to add stuff but cutting chunks out of it is pretty easy.

In a more general sense I don't do anything formal to try and work on my craft, at least not that I think of in those terms. Some of it's to do with process. I edit my stuff quite heavily so I don't put a lot of value of nailing it the first time.

I feel like good writing emanates from good characters and so I spend my time writing little scenes and dialogues to get into their mind rather than worrying too much about my ability to write. If the character has something interesting to say then I trust myself to do it justice, at least eventually.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:34 AM
Binx B
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Man to cop: How do you get to Carnegie hall?

Cop: Lots of practice.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
Man to cop: How do you get to Carnegie hall?

Cop: Lots of practice.
And, I would add, purposesful reading. I think my writing has gotten better sense disregarding pleasure. Instead I focus on word usage, pace, description, plot, etc.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:06 AM
Binx B
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I didn't realize that purposeful reading and pleasure where mutually exclusive.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mcv1986 View Post
And, I would add, purposeful reading. I think my writing has gotten better sense disregarding pleasure. Instead I focus on word usage, pace, description, plot, etc.
That's an interesting perspective and I can understand why it helps. In the real world I work in video production and part of that means that I notice camera use in a much more functional way, appreciate little things that most people wouldn't even notice and roll my eyes at poor choices the DoP made. But it's totally killed my ability to enjoy mediocre tv and movies. Not bad, just merely ok. When you spot things like crossing the line or shots substantially at odds with what the scene is trying to say it makes it very very hard to just shut up and enjoy it.

I don't know how applicable that would be for writing, at least for me. It's hard for me to get through a book that I don't enjoy and when I know that something isn't clicking I don't care so much about why exactly. If it's good then I'm happy to get into a little literary criticism after the fact, asking myself why a certain feature stood out to me, but not when I just reading. I'm picky about certain things (like inorganic dialogue written like prose not speech) but if anything that's come from writing my own stuff than reading other peoples.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:50 PM
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By not giving a fuck, lol. I am kidding.

But word use and my writing skills play important with what genre I am writing. If I am writing one of my fantasy novels in my series, I don't use modern day slang, I often tend to read books written in an era not like ours, and mirror that style with my own Clydeness. Clyde is magic.

If it's a more modern time, I actually use my own voice as a guide of what I am writing. Let's face it I am not saying I am superior than everyone around me, but my written word, my writing skills, tends to not dumb the use of words, the use of social content, and the use of intelligence for my audience.

Either you get the voice at hand or you don't.

To me, a writing skill, or honing it, also has to do with the value of adaptability. To do the research, so your work, fits the era, and tone, but sprinkled with bits of you that make it unique.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
I didn't realize that purposeful reading and pleasure where mutually exclusive.
They can be. If I was only interested in pleasure I would not have kept the audio version of Dean Koontz's Intensity. That book was annoying. However, Koontz does a good job with pace, description and character psychology. So I kept it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:17 PM
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I'm not going to read something that annoys me. There are so many great books that offer the whole package; books I can enjoy reading and that I can learn from too.

Besides, I think I've learned from reading a lot over a lifetime; everything that makes good writing just goes into the blender and comes out in ways that don't necessarily relate to a particular book.

So I can't really think of a time when I've been writing that I've referenced or studied any aspect of a novel and directly applied it to what I'm writing. It just doesn't work that way for me. I've been inspired or motivated to write by certain books, but that's different.

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Old 01-10-2016, 01:47 PM
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I hone by analysing each paragraph during the editing process to ensure it reads smoothly and there is nothing there to trip up the reader. They should be able to glide across the page and not realise they are reading (that's the intention, anyway).

When reading someone else's book, if my reading is interrupted by clunky grammar or I have to go back and reread to understand something, I assume it could have been written better and will take a closer look at the composition to see if I could improve it.

It's all time, experience and awareness, really.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by LostThePlot View Post
That's an interesting perspective and I can understand why it helps. In the real world I work in video production and part of that means that I notice camera use in a much more functional way, appreciate little things that most people wouldn't even notice and roll my eyes at poor choices the DoP made. But it's totally killed my ability to enjoy mediocre tv and movies. Not bad, just merely ok. When you spot things like crossing the line or shots substantially at odds with what the scene is trying to say it makes it very very hard to just shut up and enjoy it.
I find with background in graphic design I find the same thing. Poor ads or text heavy work with bad layout design drive me crazy. I was given a book recently to read which was obviously self published (they don't have to be). The text on the back cover went within a millimeter of all four edges. It also had no page numbers. A novel. NO PAGE NUMBERS!

I like to read classics in genres I enjoy. Why have they hung around so long? Again, recently, I began reading Picture of Dorian Gray and was struck with how in the first chapter I HAD to meet this guy. I stopped and thought what about the writing struck a chord with me and made me feel something. Fun study.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:54 AM
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Read magazines, newspapers and articles. Write down the ideas that come into your mind. Use actives words instead of passive words. Avoid clinches and generalization. Write every day. Join a writing workshop so that you can improve your writings. Edit your writing until it is perfect in your eyes.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:22 AM
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Read lots of books, forums, (like here) magazines, famous authors especially (cannot stress that enough) and be good at it
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:41 AM
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Default How to Dovelop writing skills

You can develop good writing skills. My passion is to write essay it just makes me really happy . To write good essay You should have good information about your topic tray to gather as much information as possible. You should also have some real facts and examples for writing*a good essay. To write a good essay you can also take help from Internet for writing a quality essay.I would recommend you to visit essaywritingon.com you should also be clear about your views to express them in your essay. Your objective also need to be very clear about what you are writing

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Old 07-08-2016, 03:04 AM
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