Every author wants tips on writing better, right? I certainly hope so, because though we may think that we’re an accomplished writer, the trouble is that we don’t know what we don’t know, so it’s easy to miss a few really important points, especially when a lot of others are missing them as well. I advise all authors who haven’t done so already, to study their craft as fully as they can, and to always be on the lookout for extra tips on writing better, because you never know when you might find some little snippet of information that is the key to unlocking your potential.
And maybe this video will bring you one of those keys. It’s easy to have bad habits as writers, habits that we simply don’t see. As soon as someone points them out to us, we’ll see them, but until then, bad habits can make our prose just a little off, a little less than it can and should be.
Writing Tips for Writing Better Prose
The video below explains how to avoid making some of the worst and most common writing mistakes, so you can say goodbye to poorly constructed sentences, write active prose and show rather than tell your story. Rose and I refer to my book The Elements of Active Prose: Writing Tips to Make Your Prose Shine, and the sentences discussed are written on the screen, so you can see what we’re talking about.
As I say at the end of the video, I’m on a mission to maintain the quality of written English, and if you’re with me onhow important this is, then please share this video widely.
Let me know in the comments below if this video has helped you reflect upon your prose, and if so, what did you find?
Why 6 (+1), not 7 tips?
You’ll have to watch the video to find the answer to that one!
Contents – Writing Better Prose
00:00:00:00 Setting the scene by reading a poorly written passage.
00:01:53:15 The difference in meaning between the words ‘writing’ and ‘prose’.
00:02:31:17 What makes good prose.
00:03:29:11 Laying out the which-one-is-better game.
00:03:52:23 Tip 1. Starting sentences with ‘ing’ ending participles.
00:07:18:00 Tip 2. ‘To be’ verbs.
00:10:18:19 Tip 3. Starting sentences with ‘As’.
00:11:24:21 Tip 4. ‘Empty openers’.
00:12:15:20 Tip 5. ‘Would’ and ‘could’.
00:12:58:17 Tip 6. ‘Began to’ and ‘started to’.
00:13:36:06 Extra tip – About ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ ending verbs.
00:14:20:06 Bonus Tip 7. – Using the word ‘looked’ in descriptions and how this relates to showing and telling. 00:15:31:05 What a line editor does. How the original paragraph can be improved.
00:17:25:07 Why these points on good prose writing are important.
Interested in the books on writing better that I recommend in the video?
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King.
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