For each day in November of 2014, one of our site admins Tialla Rising tweeted a writing tip in celebration of NaNoWriMo. Even though this was simply on LetsHomeschoolHighSchool’s Twitter account using the hashtag #30days30writing tips, we decided to list them here as well. Enjoy!
1. Write everyday. It doesn’t matter if it’s nothing more than gibberish. It creates a habit, and conquers procrastination.
2. Some writers can simply weave magic. Devour all their books. Analyze. Figure out why it’s brilliant, and try it yourself.
3. Show, don’t tell. Ex.: “When she glanced up, her heart skipped a beat.” versus “When she glanced up, she was startled.”
4. Don’t be afraid to take a break. Often, the best ideas come when we’re focused on something other than writing.
5. Watch your adverbs. Most of the time, replacing adverbs with strong nouns or verbs makes all the difference.
6. Active voice is often more grabbing than passive voice. Ex.: “The dog bit her.” vs. “She was bitten by the dog.”
7. Without an obstacle blocking your main character from his/her goal, the story’s plot will fall flat.
8. How much does your main character want his/her goal? This will show by the obstacles he/she overcomes.
9. MyTomatoes.com is a great option for a simple pomodoro timer to keep you focused and active in your writing time.
10. “Someone once said that being a novelist isn’t about offering answers; it’s about asking questions.” -K.M. Weiland.
11. Got writer’s block? Re-read what you’ve written, and by the time you reach your last sentence, you may have the inspiration you need to continue.
12. When mentioning names in groups, always keep the names in the same order. “Peter, Jane, and Sam walked the dog.”
13. Does your antagonist have enough motive to create the obstacle necessary for your protagonist?
14. A thesaurus is a writer’s best friend for finding that perfect word to create a grabbing sentence.
15. Editing while writing will detract from your creativity. Get that messy first draft written, then edit to your heart’s content.
16. Avoid “filler” paragraphs. Often, introductory and closure moments can be drastically cut down.
17. Writing at the same time each day can help create a habit and stimulate creativity.
18. Writers read. One of the best things you can do to improve your craft is putting aside the pen and taking out a novel.
19. Finish what you start. Even if you have a fantastic idea calling your name, finish your current project first. You’ll be happy you did.
20. One word can change the entire connotation of a sentence—or even how readers view characters. Choose carefully.
21. Is your writing “stuck”? Change up the tense. Maybe write in present tense rather than past, or vice-versa. It may spark inspiration.
22. Something as simple as a favorite drink can motivate you to focus on your writing.
23. Usually write in first person? Try third person limited, or second person. It might provide a fresh perspective.
24. Using simple words and direct sentences will keep your readers focused on the story, rather than the writing.
25. This is hard for authors to spot in their own work, but avoid redundancy of both words and ideas.
26. Use conflict to change your characters, namely your main character.
27. Though routine writing times are helpful for creating focus, sometimes a new location can spark motivation.
28. Create vivid imagery by balancing metaphors, similes, and specific details.
29. Avoid stammering in your dialogue, such as “Um.” Replace with breaks: “he paused, searching for the right word.”
30. Don’t be afraid to use fragments in the heat of action scenes. Direct sentences draw readers into the scene.
November 18, 2014