Tips, techniques and advice on how to write


No matter what you are writing, whether it is a book, school assignment, or email, you have to make sure it is presentable and easy to read. After all, your writing represents you and your thoughts, so why not make it look good? So here are twenty writing tips to make sure your writing pops in a way that will engage readers and make them come back for more.

School assignments/professional work environment:

Plan out what you are about to write: I know it may sound simple, but a lot of students and writers think that writing with a free hand with no idea in mind is the right way to go but to be honest (and sorry for my insensitivity) is a reckless and silly idea. And to plan out your writing does not have to be a lot either. Just write down some bullet points on word choice, topic, and due date, that is all!

Plagiarism: This is another simple one, but you would not believe how many people unintentionally plagiarize their work. But it is simple to make sure you do not make that mistake. It makes no difference if you are quoting something on the Internet or a book, ALWAYS put quotation marks and cite where you got it. Ex: “BELIEVE IT” (Naruto Uzumaki).

Have a proofreader: As much as people do not want to hear it, at the end of the day, you are usually writing for an audience. So it would not hurt to get one before you finish. Have a close friend or family member read some of your writing because you may think it is engaging but having a critic can tell you what you’re missing, what they like, and if it is ready to be submitted or published.

Check your spelling: Again, this is a simple task, but errors will immediately lessen the impact of your work. Ensure your spelling is accurate before publishing or submitting a piece of work. Do not forget that the grammar and spelling on your computer will be set according to the region you are in or the settings on your laptop!

Check the format of your writing: This is directed more towards students. Check with your teacher/professor on how you are supposed to write. Some professors like or have a favorite writing style. MLA, APA, and AP are styles that are commonly used for academic papers and the sciences. The best format to use is MLA, especially if your teacher does not assign a particular one. But always keep in mind that each has a guideline. Therefore follow it as closely as you can. And, be sure to enjoy it!

Stay professional: Keep it professional: Maintaining one’s professionalism is crucial. Especially when you are sending a teacher an email or completing a form, for instance, you would not begin an email with “Hey Stephen” if you were writing to your boss. That is not only insulting, but it is also incredibly unprofessional. It also is true for college essays and other academic assignments. Maintaining professionalism is just as important as sticking to the writing format.

Do not do it at the last minute: I cannot stress this enough: do not wait until the last minute! Never do it at the last minute! It needs no explanation. Make sure to complete your assignment before it is due (unless your teacher or superior gives it to you the day before). Check the deadline every time. Frantically done work always comes off as sloppy and implies that you don’t care about the project. If it is helpful, take note of it in a notepad or on your phone. Both Microsoft Word and Google Docs offer a mechanism to mark due dates.

Write a rough draft: We all learn in elementary school. Rough drafts are extremely helpful when it comes to professional writing, despite how boring they may be. Your initial draft will always be able to summarize your ideas, and it will be simpler to arrange them after you are done. Instead of treating it like more work, treat it like brainstorming. Additionally, you can create paragraphs, charts, or bullet points, exactly like when you plan out your task. It does not matter if it is a little embarrassing because most of the time no one will see it.

Read your writing aloud: Although embarrassing, it is helpful. Reading it aloud will be extremely helpful. Although it may sound fantastic in your head, others are not in your head. Take it from me: always read it out loud! I do it all the time, and I was contacted by a publisher!

Word choice: Words like good, happy, and sad aren’t always wrong; they merely make your work less impactful. For instance, “When she returned home, he seemed happy.” As opposed to, “He was over the moon when she came home!” And, as I’ve already mentioned, we’re learning how to make our writing stand out “over the moon,” which is perfect if we want our writing to POP!

Books/personal writing:

Appear to the right audience: If you are a writer, like me, you will quickly discover that some topics pique people’s interest. A fan of thrillers, for instance, would not want to read a romance comedy. As a result, be careful to present yourself to the target audience. I write romantic dramas. Because I do not include many comedic elements in my books, they appeal to readers who want to be moved rather than made to laugh out loud. However, doing this is simple; all you need to do is, as I already stated, enjoy yourself. As you write more, you will draw readers from a particular audience, but if, for instance, you desire a drama-loving audience but write humor, you are doing something wrong. One way to prevent this mistake is, as I said already, word choice, and plan out what you are going to write before you write it.

Take your time: Another thing that I must emphasize is this! A book takes time to write! If it takes longer than you anticipated, do not give up. For instance, The Great Gatsby, one of the most well-known works taught in schools today, took F. Scott Fitzgerald two years to write. So feel free to experiment and take your time. (Unless you have an editor and are committed to a publishing company), there is no deadline for producing a book. Everyone experiences writing blocks; I did too when writing this article, so trust yourself and your creativity, but take your time. As mentioned under number seven, rushing your writing will make it appear sloppy and uninteresting. And as a writer, that is the last thing we want.

Take notes of your surroundings: This one is weird, but I swear it works. It is a good idea to draw inspiration from actual events when writing a novel. If your book is set in a school, pay attention to things there; if a group of friends helps one another throughout the plot, consider your friend group or other groups. Though it may appear disrespectful, pay attention to what people are saying. You would be shocked at how much information two people can share, and how much that can add to your novel.

Make your characters properly: It may sound rude, but a reader will not be able to connect to the story if the main character or other supporting characters are not relatable. I know it seems tedious. But Take your time creating your characters. Even supporting characters require time. Beginning with their name, traits (such as height, eye color, hair, etc.), likes, dislikes, and flaws, followed by a brief backstory (backstories go a long way!). For instance, if your book is set in a dystopian society, try to take the effort to make your character as appropriate as you can for it. And if you are having trouble making your character, just base them off of yourself!

Start with the main bits: This is directed at short story writers. My teacher recently told me that starting a short story with action is better than doing so slowly. You do not have as much time to write a short story as you do a novel. A chapter usually has 10–20 pages, although a short story usually has 3–10. A short story should start with conflict rather than a slow buildup. Short stories are meant to capture the attention of readers right away. And conflict is the best way to do it, so feel free to open your novel with a breakup or an intergalactic war!

Know how you’re going to end it before you get to it: This is an unusual one because it only works for certain people, but I still recommend that you try it for yourself. Before you begin writing your book, write your ending first. I know it seems odd, but this is especially useful if the storyline of your work is your primary focus. (This works well for drama, romance, and thriller books.) If you already know how your novel will finish, this would be a great idea! This method does not work for me because my plot is continuously changing, but I am not you! Please give it a shot, and if you’re feeling very daring, make it the prologue or epilogue!

Make sure there is an external and internal conflict: I briefly touched on this in number 14, but developing a character also includes giving them flaws, advantages, and external/internal conflict. Since character development is crucial to a story, these conflicts are excellent for character growth. A happy character cannot witness the annihilation of their clan (Naruto reference!) and remain normal. It takes time and effort to build characters. It will probably be one of the most difficult steps, but if you manage to do it right, your novel will be more interesting than the others! Take the time to develop the conflicts they are dealing with; if you need help, I suggest the book The Emotional Wound Thesaurus!

Do research: Every novel must start with research! You cannot establish a suitable setting without conducting research. If your story is in a Japanese school, you have to consider both the educational system and the location. If your novel includes weaponry, look at some weapons or equipment that might help to define your story or setting. Many people disregard this, yet doing so may quickly wreck your novel. Many authors choose to set their works in a different state, nation, or even era, but they write them as if they were set in the present or the author’s hometown. For example, while we are allowed to express ourselves in America. Hair, nails, and school uniforms are strictly enforced in Japan. So, before starting to write, carefully explore the location and anything else you believe is vital to your story

Know what makes a story: Stephen King believes that three factors contribute to an excellent novel. Dialogue, Narration, and Description. All three points contribute to the plot in some way. Narration, whether in the first, second, or third person, is what moves the story from point A to point B. The description is how you attract the reader. Write as though you were using all five of your senses. And dialogue is how you bring your characters “to life,” as Stephen King says. Remember them when you create your novel.

Just have fun with it: I know it sounds ridiculous! But the most important part of writing a novel is to have fun! More important than developing characters or a perfect setting. Why are you writing in the first place if you are not enjoying yourself? We all start the same way as writers. We develop an interest in reading or writing and have fun while doing so! So, what is wrong with continuing to have fun? Writing will become second nature if you enjoy it. The more you do it, the more you will like it, and the more it will represent you! So go ahead, experiment, have fun, and above everything else, have fun!

I hope these tips and tricks are helpful to you. Remember writing takes time and work, but it will pay off if you are prepared to put in the time and effort. I hope these help you and of course happy writing, MCHS!