10 Things Every Writer Needs To Know

“Writing is hard work, not magic. It begins with deciding why you are writing and whom you are writing for. What is your intent? What do you want the reader to get out of it? What do you want to get out of it? It’s also about making a serious time commitment and getting the project done.”― Suze Orman

I’ve spent five of the last seven days in various training sessions, workshops, and conferences. Some were about writing, some were education related. A few covered both topics simultaneously. One such workshop was presented by Jeff Anderson, Middle Grade novelist and author of 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know.

Here’s a basic overview of the ten things he feels every writer needs to know.

  1. Motion. Writing is not magic. It’s hard work. But it can’t happen without motion. Put your pen to paper or tap your fingers at the keyboard.
  2. Models. Writers need models – mentors who offer a vision of what writing is and can be. Get inspired by writers you love and learn from them. Every encounter with text is a writing lesson. Learn to read like a writer.
  3. Focus. Writers are called upon to control their ideas – the writing is neither too large or too small. It’s just the right size. Writing must be clear and build upon the scope of the topic or genre.
  4. Detail. Details should be plentiful without being flowery or overdone. Choose well-selected details and use sensory images that explain without boring the reader to death.
  5.  Form. Writers arrange and rearrange words in surprising ways. This creates the perfect structure that makes your writing easy to follow. Everything you write reflects your purpose and your audience.
  6. Frames. Beginnings and endings frame our writing. Lead with enticing introductions that take the reader on a journey then put on the finishing touches that, in the end, leave the reader satisfied.
  7. Cohesion. Cohesion holds writing together. It brings unity to our writing and eases transitions from one point to another. The progression from point A to point B is effortless and clear.
  8. Energy. Good writing is all about style. It sizzles and gets straight to the point. The words move in rhythm and come alive. Every page flows, and the entire manuscript provides variety to the eyes and ears.
  9. Words. The words we choose to combine offer crisp language. They bring our thoughts to the page and allow the reader to visualize. Good writers use fresh metaphors and provide enough vivid nouns and verbs to carry the message clearly and cleanly.
  10. Clutter. Remove clutter from writing so the message shines through. Delete redundant words and phrases or any passages and paragraphs that don’t move the writing forward.

10-things-every-writer-needs-to-knowThat pretty much sums up Jeff’s take on writing. For more detailed information, get his book.

“Write as much as you can, as fast as you can, as well as you can.” ―Leif Fearn

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