Writing Tips

Real life doesn't have a script.
What are you searching for and how can writing help you find it?


You’ll find all kinds of tips at http://www.writeradvice.com/writingadvice.html. I’ve been collecting them and sharing them with the readers of Writer Advice for years.

Here are a few more:

  1. Write freely. Don’t censor yourself.
  2. As Annie Lamott says, “Give yourself permission to do a shitty first draft.”
  3. Tell it all. You’ll edit later.
  4. Read over what you’ve written. Underline the sentences that have energy and the sentences you want to know more about.
  5. Write one sentence beginning with “This piece is about…” or “This chapter is about…” Finish the sentence.
  6. Do a second draft, delving into any of the underlined sentences that will help you go more deeply.
  7. Read your second draft.
  8. Go through and ask yourself, “Can I see what’s happening in this sentence?” If you can’t, try rephrasing it.
  9. Go through and ask yourself, does this sentence or incident belong in this piece or this chapter. If you decide to cut it, put it in a new .docx, unless you never want to see it again.
  10. Go through and ask yourself, “Have I used the right language to tell this story? Have I put too much in any sentence? Are there gaps in logic? Are there places that are flat?”
  11. Either read your latest draft out loud, or ask a trusted friend to read it to you. Correct any glitches you find.
  12. Share it with a trusted critique group. Listen to their suggestions, but don’t be a slave to them.
  13. After you write a third draft, take a few minutes and journal about how the piece has changed. What is better now? Is there anything from an earlier draft that you’d like to add back in?
  14. Proofread or trade proofreading with a trusted writer or hire a professional proofreader. Often, we don’t see our own mistakes.
  15. If you feel the piece is ready, send it out. If you don’t feel it’s ready, journal about why it isn’t. Fix the problems and then send it out.

P.S. Wait several days between each draft unless you are on deadline. Writing is a process and it seldom comes together all at once.

Questions? Please ask. Yours might be included on this page along with my answer.

2 thoughts on “Writing Tips

  1. lynnhesse November 25, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    I couldn’t express it better. May I use your list, giving you credit, with young writers in an upcoming workshop. Best, Lynn Hesse


    • lgood67334 November 29, 2016 / 7:59 am

      Of course you may use my list. I’d be delighted. Credit is greatly appreciated!

      B. Lynn Goodwin

      Writer Advice Managing Editor, http://www.writeradvice.com
      Author of YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers & Author of TALENT


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