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dopeguru's avatar

How can I get better at writing?

Asked by dopeguru (1907points) February 10th, 2019

I’m miserable! I’ll have to write lots of blogs from now on and my vocabulary, my wordings etc just suck. Is there a quick way to be better at it?

edit: I’ve always been awful at it. I had a passion for it. I remember spending my time writing a “book” on Word Docs (lol) when I was 9 years old! I have so much creativity but I can not put it to words properly. It’s making me very sad.

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27 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Read, read, read. Read well-written books and magazines, and pay attention to their vocabulary, use of language, grammatical construction, and style. Get a notebook and record your responses and the ideas they trigger, and copy out (by hand) sentences that you admire or want to remember.

And practice. Practice writing, not in a blog but in a private notebook or electronic journal. Don’t start by publishing (posting publicly) everything you write—you don’t need an audience for your practice, any more than you want a band to go onstage without a rehearsal.

A writing course could help if it’s more about clarity and correctness of composition and less about creativity and freedom. Learn the rules and structures first. You can break them later. When you break conventions, you should know when you’re doing it and why.

If a quick way is what you want, I don’t know that you’ll find it, any more than there is a quick way to lose 120 pounds or become a champion skater. It’ll take a bit of time and effort, if you’ve already passed up your chance to do this in school, but it does pay off. Your writing, in some form, is apt to be your first contact with a prospective employer. It’s very nice to know you can come across sounding knowledgeable and intelligent instead of having your mistakes leap off the page ahead of your appearance in person.

ragingloli's avatar

Steal from better writers.
I hear that Quentin Tarantino’s scripts are pretty good.

rebbel's avatar

Also, participate in websites such as as this one, as well as writers/writing websites.
I can’t back it up with numbers, but my vocabulary has increased greatly by communicating in threads here on Fluther.
Also there are some lovely Jellies on here that I am sure will send you constructive criticism (if you ask for it).
They gave it to me, and I am grateful for that.

Another advice I have seen being given multiple times is: write, write, write.

And proofread.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You can improve, but if you are convinced that you lack the aptitude, seek out those who might best be in a position to gauge your work and show them your stuff.

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ltoban's avatar

Continue reading various blogs, articles, magazines and books. Also, embrace your style of writing. It helps to be confident in your writing endeavors.

LostInParadise's avatar

You do not seem to have any problems getting your ideas across, which is the minimum requirement for being able to write. I can’t improve on @Jeruba ‘s advice to practice reading and writing. For building vocabulary, judicious use of a thesaurus may be helpful.

Inspired_2write's avatar

That is what a first draft is all about,just getting the ideas down then later editing it,
As for vocabulary etc use a word program that allows definitions and synonyms and antonyms automatically when one places the computer mouse over that word.
Write it out on your own program until you are happy with the editing etc then paste onto the blog.
For practice try the once a year contest for novices .
One writes WITHOUT editing or correcting and later edits final draft.
How It Works – National Novel Writing Month

Dutchess_III's avatar

They should have some online creative writing courses somewhere, or at least a community of writers you can share ideas with.

The most important thing I ever learned in writing is edit, edit, edit.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I found that attending writing courses dampened my creativity and tried to pigeon hole writers, its just a basic , nothing more.
Everyone’s style of writing is different. To create a standard on creativity is just wrong.
It just stymies ones natural creativity , for me anyways.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did you take writing courses, or specifically creative writing courses?
I learned valuable information and techniques regarding story line, painting a picture in your reader’s mind, editing and staying on topic. My experiences vastly improved my writing and improved my own personal style. It made it much cleaner.
I’m sorry you weren’t able to take anything of value away from your experiences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And, of course, they instantly corrected any spelling or grammatical errors that may have slipped into my writing, although I never really have much of a problem with it. Especially here!

I took a course in the 80s on writing for children. It was a snail mail correspondence course. The teacher / editor I was assigned was one of the writers for the I Love Lucy show. I used the word “instantaneously” in a story I wrote about a tornado. He he instantly corrected me, said “instantaneously” was pretentious and redundant, and he was right. I’ve never used it since.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This looks like a good place to start. Just google in whatever it is you want to get better at. Here is a site specifically for creative writing.

ragingloli's avatar

You could write fanfiction.

dopeguru's avatar


I rarely edit! I assume when I write that’s the end result. Do most people go back and edit their stuff, even if its a fluther answer? I actually have never done this!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, YES, YES. YES! Edit. It’s the number one MOST important step in writing.
The only thing you really have to watch out for is that you don’t lose your own personal style in the editing process.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@dopeguru, FYI, when you see that some has earned the “Perfecto Fish ” award it’s because they edited an answer more than once within the 10 minute edit window.

kritiper's avatar

Develop your own style. I won a poetry contest once by doing it.

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dopeguru's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Wait so editing means adding stuff that I didn’t as well? I thought editing was re-reading what you wrote and making corrections within it

Dutchess_III's avatar

What you describe is “proof reading.” “Editing” means reworking for clarity, interest and brevity. It could mean adding word here and there, but more importantly it means deleting stuff. Taking extraneous stuff out that doesn’t really add to the story. It’s the hardest part too. Usually what needs to be deleted is your favorite stuff! :D

I had a good Fluther friend yell at me to cut my posts in half because they’re too long! I’ve been working at that.

This might be a really good place to practice just that.

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