3 Writing Lessons You Can Benefit from Today
No matter the genre or writing style, writers share one thing in common: a thirst for knowledge. Writers are always looking for ways to develop their craft. Here are three simple things you can do to help improve your writing that you can start working on today and that won’t bust your budget.
- Read, read, read. It doesn’t matter what genre you write; reading is the best way to learn about writing. Read everything from newspaper articles to pulp fiction to the classics. Critique what you’ve read. If the piece was supposed to be a persuasive article, did it sway your opinion? Why or why not? If it’s a gritty crime novel, did you find yourself wondering whodunit? Examine classic literature and see what makes them classics. Read poetry aloud to hear the way the words flow.
- Listen to people. Take a trip to a local coffee house or restaurant and listen to conversations. It’s not to be nosey. You need to hear how different people speak. Pay attention to the rhythm and cadence of the speech. How do the accents sound? What do regular conversations sound like as opposed to the conversations in novels? How do different types of people interact with one another in public? Do lovers lean in to speak more softly to one another? Are the baristas impatient? How do parents handle excited children?
- Watch a movie. In fact, watch lots of movies. Movies are excellent tools to help you learn the art of moving quickly to the action while creating well-developed characters. Novels written fifty years ago could meander through pages of backstory and character development at a time. Today’s writers have to jump into the action quickly. Watch movies in a variety of genres and analyze the arcs of their stories to learn how to move quickly to the action without sacrificing your characters.
How these writing lessons help
These three simple lessons can improve your writing over time. Reading improves vocabulary and helps you develop your voice. Listening to people hones your skills in character development so that all of your characters don’t sound the same. And watching movies helps you develop better timelines and story arcs that move readers through your book with compassion and concern for the characters. And readers who care about the characters are happy readers. That’s what all writers want in the end.