Best Writing Tips & Tools _ Maryville University
The Writer’s Online Toolkit
Writing is a craft that includes a variety of different individual parts. There are a number of creative jobs for those who excel in writing, reading, persuasion, research, and analysis. Today, there are more than enough resources to develop and refine writing skills in addition to getting a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Apps can help make a writer’s current process more efficient. Below are some of the most commonly used writing strategies and tools, and a breakdown of their cost and function.
General Tips and Advice for WritingThe journey toward becoming a writer differs by person, but the following general tips and advice can help guide and improve most writing. More often than not, a modern English degree curriculum touches on each of research paper writing service these points.
ReadA great way to help expand your writing skills is to read. Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write.” Reading all types of writing allows you to pick up on style notes from other writers. It can open a writer’s eyes to different structures, techniques, and forms of writing.
It is especially beneficial to read within the genre you wish to write in to get a sense of the scene. For example, if you write romance, consider diving into an array of novels in that genre. At the least, reading can serve as inspiration.
PracticeSimilar to a sport, practice is essential to refining writing skills. This is arguably the most important element for a writer, yet for some it is the most difficult to turn into a routine. There are very few stories of writers who wrote a bestseller with one draft. Composition takes continual learning and training. A writer can always find a better way to phrase something, portray a scene, or evoke emotion. Fred Oswald from ScienceDaily claims that “Deliberate practice was a strong overall predictor of success in many performance domains, and not surprisingly, people who report practicing a lot generally tend to perform at a higher level than people who practice less.” Make writing part of your daily routine.
Write for Yourself FirstThe ultimate goal for some aspiring writers is to reach a large audience of people through compelling, creative, innovative, and interesting writing. With those goals, it can be hard to focus on writing for yourself. Writing for yourself involves writing naturally, genuinely, and sincerely, without worry about what other people will think of your craft.
Start by looking internally to find something you are passionate about. If your writing isn’t interesting or doesn’t stir some sort of feeling within you, it likely won’t appeal to anyone else. Write as if you are never going to publish the piece; as if it is just something you love doing for yourself.
Don’t “Write What You Know”Great work can come from writing about things, places, or concepts that you aren’t very familiar with. Just because you prefer or typically write poetry does not mean you can’t write an exceptional novel. Step outside of your comfort zone and improve your writing in all aspects.
Don’t Get Hung Up on the DetailsJust because you are stuck on refining one part of a piece doesn’t mean the roadblock should derail you entirely. Although it is important to do your research, do not spend all of your time becoming an expert on unfamiliar topics. If you are writing a story that involves the military, it may prove useful to understand things like the hierarchy or difference between military branches, but you do not need to become fully immersed in the military community.
Create a ScheduleCreating a writing schedule, or daily writing goals, is crucial to writing improvements. According to James Clear, “on average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.” To create an effective schedule, set goals that are consistent and achievable. Making a schedule ties all the pieces together.
General Writing ToolsThere are various writing tools and applications available to help writers hone their craft. The tools range from applications that are used to help reduce distractions to resources that help with grammar and stylistic aspects of writing. Writing tools can often be used in unison with one another. There are hundreds of writing resources available, and most offer some sort of free trial period. The following resources are some of the most commonly used general writing tools.