10 Tips to Help Writers Stay Focused

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5 Simple Writing Tips

Writing-Tips

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As writers, we’re always looking for tips to improve our craft. Here are 5 simple tips that can give your writing that extra punch.

  1. Know your character’s unique view. How does he or she interact with the world around them? Write through that lens.
  2. You don’t need as many dialogue tags you think.
  3. Don’t forget visceral reactions. Readers want to feel your character’s emotions.
  4. Use figurative language.
  5. Read.  The more you read, the better writer you become.

 

Review of The Guardian

I am thrilled with this 5 Star review from Reader’s Favorite. 😁

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Guardian by L.M. Nelson is an inspiring tale about courage, perseverance, and love. A tragic car accident changes Camryn and Toby’s lives forever when they are magically transported to Gelnoff, a place that desperately needs their help to free it from the clutches of the firebeast, and restore balance to the elements. With the title of the guardian, and help from various druids and other mythical creatures, Toby and Camryn must journey across this strange place where they have found themselves and gather elemental stones in their quest to defeat the firebeast. They must survive and surpass all of the challenges that lie ahead of them, including pesky trolls and harpies doing the firebeast’s bidding. Will Camryn and Toby be able to succeed in their quest and return home? Or will they be stuck in this mysterious land forever?

In a thrilling tale, The Guardian by L.M. Nelson feels like a cross between Bridge to Terabithia, The Spiderwick Chronicles and a little like Lord of the Rings. It has wonderful themes of determination, adapting to new situations and friendship. These are all relatable themes that a younger age group going through their own coming of age struggles will relate to. It will also help them to find the will to discover a new perspective on seemingly unpleasant situations in their own lives. The characters develop really nicely along with the plot, perfectly written for young adults. I admire all of the creatures that come to Toby and Camryn’s aid and how beautifully it is presented as well as having riddles to contend with. The riddles I feel fit in perfectly with the magical and mysterious vibe of the world Camryn and Toby are in. It adds to the overall enjoyable factor of the book. I enjoyed the tale and the plot twist.”

Words Are Powerful

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Words are powerful. They can move you to tears, evoke absolute joy, or comfort someone in time of need. As writers, we are always searching for the right words to express what we want to say. Here are a few tips to help make your words more powerful.

  1. Use short words. Short words are more powerful and less pretentious than longer words. Rape is more powerful than sexual assault. Stop is stronger than discontinue.
  2. Use dense words. Use fewer words to express the same idea. Instead of once a month, say monthly. Something new is novel. People they didn’t know are strangers.
  3. Use familiar words. A word is familiar of if came easily to you. A word your reader doesn’t recognize has no power. Don’t call it a mandible. Use the more familiar word, jaw. Don’t write sclerous if you can write hardened. And if you used the word virescent, go back and say it’s turning green.
  4. Use active verbs. Your writing will have more power if you change the words is, was, and will be to verbs of action and motion. Consider the following: A grandfather clock was in one corner, and three books were on top of it. Here’s a better way to write that. A grandfather clock towered in one corner, and three books lay on top of it.
  5. Use strong verbs. Sharpen a word’s meaning by being precise. Turn look into stare, gaze, peer, peek, or gawk. Turn throw into toss, flip, or hurl.
  6. Use specific nouns. Before you write a noun that is modified by one or more adjectives, ask yourself if there is noun that can convey the same information. Don’t write about a black dog. Write about a Doberman instead. Do you want a large house or a mansion? Cruel treatment will make a bigger impression as savagery or brutality.
  7. Use active voice. Passive voice: Dutch drawings and prints are what this book is about. Active voice: This book is about Dutch drawings and prints. Can you hear the difference?
  8. Say things in a positive way. Instead of The safe was not closed, say The safe was open. Don’t use this: This insurance will not cost the employees any money. Use this instead: This insurance is free to employees.
  9. Be specific. Help the reader see what you are describing. Picture a box. Now, picture a black box. Now, picture a black box with shiny silver hinges. You can see the box more clearly by adding a few specific details. Related image

A Sense of Style

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In the writing world, the word style means the way in which an idea is expressed. Style has to do with form, not content. Readers pick up a book because of content, but put it down because of style.

As a writer, you have to develop your own writing style. The way you arrange words is the nature of you. Your style should be specifically yours and no one else’s.

When developing your individual style, here are some things to consider:

  1. Listen to what you write. Writing is like music. The words you write make sounds, and when those sounds are in harmony, the writing works.
  2. Mimic spoken language. Writing conveys to the reader the sense of conversation. It should provide the intimacy and warmth of personal conversation.
  3. Vary sentence length. Consider the following:Image result for vary sentence length
  4. Vary sentence construction. You should always strive for clarity when you write, and arrange your sentences in a logical way. But you should also keep the primary elements of a sentence dancing. Expand beyond basic sentence structure and create music with your writing.
  5. Show, don’t tell. Don’t dictate to your readers what they are supposed to see, feel, and hear. Describe it to them and let them see, feel, and hear it for themselves.
  6. Keep related words together. Words that go together should be clustered together to avoid confusion. Adjectives should be placed near the nouns they describe. Adverbs should be close to verbs they modify.
  7. Create a steady beat. Be deliberate in the way you arrange words and sounds. Although consecutive sentences constructed the same way can bore the reader, repetition of sound can improve the music of your writing.
  8. Don’t force a personal style. Do not try to write like Hemingway or anyone else. Do not create in your mind some sort of witty or overly exciting persona and try to put it on paper. Style is the nature of you. It is specifically yours and makes you who you are as a writer. Image result for quotes about writing style