I recently heard from a college buddy I haven’t spoken with for years. He’s running for City Council to help forward his environmental passions. But that wasn’t why he wrote me. His 16-year-old isn’t much of a writer and isn’t getting the support needed in public school. My friend wanted advice for his teen on how to become a better writer. Here are 3 Writing Tips for anyone to get started on the path of writing better.
Writing Tip #1: My advice for the teenager would be similar to advice to anyone who struggles a bit with writing or who actually likes writing but wants to get better:
Find your passion. Write about it. Or interview experts about a passion or something you’re just curious about.
The more excited you are about the topic, the more that will come through in the writing. Plus it will be so much easier to write about something you find stimulating.
Get a coach to guide you and brainstorm with you about audience, post length, topics, structure and more.
Writing Tip #2: READ!
Read widely. Study the best writers in your genre and beyond. Make notes. What do you especially like about a piece of writing? How might you incorporate that in your own writing?
Writers in other genres might help you take more risks with your writing and try new things.
Notice how different authors create tone and develop their voice.
Writing Tip #3: READ ALOUD!
Especially, read your own work aloud. Read it aloud to yourself and you will hear what works and what sounds “off.” This is especially helpful with dialogue.
Read your work aloud to a friend or colleague and get feedback from them.
Or, better yet, have your friend or colleague read to you so you can hear any language or sentence structure that trips him up or is hard to parse. Take notes and make changes. Your work will flow better after incorporating this step.
You can also order my special report, The Secrets of Compelling Writing.
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