How can I improve writing style?

How can I improve writing style

How can I improve writing style?

Not all authors manage to develop their own voice. It is a challenge that all writers face when we take on the challenge of becoming a novelist. And it is that, all human beings have a story to tell. Many of us have enough narrative skills to compose good stories, but only true writing professionals have the mastery of language that is required for a text to become art.

Mastering language as a creation tool requires time, study and effort. It is impossible to achieve it overnight and without establishing a work plan, because there are many lessons to be learned.

It is possible that you are in a moment in which you feel that you need to improve your literary style. It is likely that you feel that your texts do not convince you, but you do not know exactly why and what kind of activities you should do to improve them.

# First of all, order…

Believe me. You can improve your writing style in a short time if you work in an orderly way. If you follow the advice that I am going to provide you with, you will experience a great improvement. You will see!

# Be aware of how you write

To improve you have to be aware of the way you write. You have to analyze your writing to define the traits that make up your style . Only then will you be able to move forward. Choose a text and ask yourself:

  1. Do you read fluently?
  2. It’s economic?
  3. Have you used the vocabulary accurately?
  4. Have you used too many adjectives?
  5. Are the sentences concise or do you tend to be subservient?
  6. Are you aware of the way you score?
  7. Do you use the gerund correctly?
  8. Do you abuse verbal periphrases?
  9. Do you tend to write sentences in their logical order? (Subject + verb + predicate)

When you have done it, when you are aware of the aspects you have mastered and what you need to improve, you will be in a position to continue learning.

# Use natural language

A refined text is built based on natural language and naturalness requires economy . It is possible that, without realizing it, you abuse adjectives. Many writers do this when they start out because they confuse fancy language with literary style. Review your text and eliminate all those adjectives that you can do without . Do it with passion and without mercy! This simple exercise will show you that gaining naturalness is not complicated if we control its use.

# Continuity and fluency in reading

The abuse of adjectives and modifiers compromises fluency, but there are other elements that hinder continuity and have to do with syntax, with the way we articulate sentences. Some authors think that by altering the logical order of the sentence we approach the literary style. Could not be farther from the truth. Analyze your text and ask yourself: do the sentences generally respect the subject + verb + predicate structure? If not, rearrange, trim, rearrange… in a word: simplify .

Punctuation errors also compromise fluency during reading. It is not easy to learn how to score correctly, but it is essential that you do so. Do not abuse the point and followed. Controls the length of the paragraphs. Next, check the use of the comma. Spend some time studying this elusive punctuation mark.

You will avoid many mistakes if you first learn to use the comma before conjunctions and other terms that introduce subordinate clauses, because we make many mistakes here: review the use of the comma before but, however, although, when, if , that because…

There is a very simple rule that you can learn right now: never put a comma between the subject and the predicate. For example: Your mother looks really good. This should never be done.

Nor will we put a comma in an interrogative sentence preceded by the conjunction but: My father explained it to me, but didn’t you know? It is a very common mistake that we can easily avoid. Remember it!

 # Lexical rigor and precision

It is essential that you use the vocabulary with surgical rigor and precision . You will not get close to the literary style if you do not strive to find that word that expresses exactly the message you want to convey.

Pay attention to how you use the verbs: do they accurately reflect the actions that the characters perform? It is not the same to say, for example, That man killed my neighbor , than That man stabbed my neighbor . In this second case, the chosen verb more accurately reflects the action carried out by the subject of the sentence. The reader will imagine what happened more clearly.

And the nouns? Sometimes we use adjectives when we should make an effort to find the word that unequivocally defines the subject that experiences the action of the verb. It is not the same to say The room smelled of flowers than The room smelled of lavender. This is what we call writing from all the senses.

# The use of modifiers

The adjective qualifies the noun, but what words qualify the adjective? They are the modifiers and, among them, the best known: the adverbs.

Have you analyzed the way you use adverbs in your texts? Sometimes we abuse them and get redundant phrases as a result . Look at the following sentence: In Germany we were treated very respectfully . In this case, the adverb respectfully is already precise enough: it conveys the idea that the subjects of the sentence were treated with great respect . The adverb very is redundant.

We can study another example: That Tuesday was very torrid. As in the previous case, the adjective torrid conveys the notion of a tremendously hot day. The adverb very is once again unnecessary.

Do not abuse adverbs ending in -mente . Do not stop using them, but control their use. Sometimes it is better to replace them with an equivalent expression. In the previous paragraph you have an example: Instead of saying In Germany we were treated with respect , we can write In Germany we were treated with great respect . Get used to playing with language to gain loudness , cadence …!

# We move towards literary language

Step by Step. We cannot and should not learn everything at once. When we have improved our writing we will be in a position to move towards the literary style. To do this, we need to cross the bridge that separates concrete language from figurative language . The first step: introduce metaphors and comparisons in our texts.

But it will be of no use if the stylistic resources we use do not contribute to allowing the reader to build evocative images in his mind. Work on your comparisons so that they fulfill their function: to provide the reader with an aesthetic experience while reading.

If you’ve entered a metaphor or comparison and it doesn’t convince you or you’re not sure it accurately conveys the image you have in mind, delete it. Bet on naturalness and simplicity until you get exactly the effect you want.

Now take the pen.

Do you have the text in front? To work!

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