What do you practice? Do you practice an instrument? Your cooking skills? What about your writing? Better yet, how do you practice your writing? Today I am going to be sharing with you some of the ways that you can practice your writing skills to make your writing the very best it can be.
Why should you practice writing?
Believe it or not, not very many people practice their writing skills. Perhaps because they think that they got more than their fill of it in school. Or maybe because they are just so eager to work on their new story idea. Maybe this is you. So why should you practice writing?
Well since you are here, I’m assuming that you want to get better at writing. Practicing your writing will help you get better, just like with any other skill. And if you practice, that hard work will show up in your novels. But put simply, you should practice if you want to get better.
How you should practice:
There are many different ways that you could go about practicing your writing. But this blog post is not meant to tell you about one miraculous way to help you improve your writing. In fact, I personally like to do a ton of research on a topic (such as practicing writing) and then try out what each source offers. I am going to be sharing four different ways that you can practice your writing so that you can try them out and see what works best for you.
Learning and Putting it into Practice
This technique is well known by pretty much everyone. You do research: check out a couple websites, read a few books. And then you get to the most important part of this step: put it into practice. Meaning that you should practice whatever the source wants you to practice. It is not as effective if you just take notes and then jump into your next story idea, occasionally referencing the notes that you took.
However, if you need to improve your ability to execute things like plotting, perhaps you should try writing some short stories. Short stories are, as the name plainly states, short. This means that you are able to write all the parts that make a story without it taking up as much time as a full novel would.
You have probably heard this many, many times but repetition is important in practicing anything. But the main question is: what do you practice? True, it is hard to repeat things once you have already written them. Because then what is the use? But perhaps if you were to practice free writing every day, getting your thoughts down on paper, the first draft may not be so hard.
Another thing that many writers swear by is a writing routine. A writing routine is a series of actions that you perform before or after writing to help you ‘get in the zone’. This is especially helpful if you want to start writing every day, as the actions will tell your brain to get ready to write. The most important thing about writing every day is that you are at your desk, ready for inspiration to strike. However, if you only write when you are feeling inspired, it is almost certain that you will never finish the story that you are working on. So not only does writing every day prepare you for when inspiration strikes, it also teaches you to be able to stick with it through the hard days when it seems like everything you write is garbage.
Stealing (well, it’s more like borrowing)
Who is your favorite author? What do you like most about their writing? Is it their intense fight scenes or amazing word choices or incredible endings? Whatever it is, you can reference your favorite books to practice different aspects of your writing.
You can write out scenes word for word that you admire from your own favorite books and learn to get a feel for how the author executes that one skill that you need to work on. If you do this with multiple authors and analyze what you like about their work as well as what you don’t, you can take the pieces that you prefer and blend them into your own work. The Write Practice has more on this method.
This concept is becoming more and more popular, about how to improve faster means that you need to practice deliberately. What does that mean? It means that you should start focusing in on what exactly you want to practice. Is it plotting, characters, theme? But while you practice, you also want to ask yourself what you did right as well as what you did wrong.
For example, if you need help on writing a fight scene, write one. But then when you read it over, ask yourself what you did right and what you did wrong. Perhaps your descriptive writing was amazing but it wasn’t quite clear as to why your character was fighting. So write another fight scene and fix it. And keep on going until you feel happy and comfortable with the way that the scene turns out.
So now that you know how you should practice your writing, get out there and prepare yourself to write amazing stories! And please comment if this post helped or tell us if you have a different way that you practice your writing.