Writing tips have aided every writer out there—from Ernest Hemingway to Stephen King.
And now you’re here for a reason…
You want to learn how to write better. Because let’s be honest…we all feel like our writing could use some improvement.
What you didn’t know is that you’ll learn a whole lot more than that by reading this post—and you’ll find out exactly what if you stick with us.
Whether you just want to write for fun or write a book to publish it successfully, we’re here to help.
Writing is a skill you can never be the “best” at. You will always be able to grow and expand on your writing skills. Once you’ve reached what you believe is your very best, there is still mountains more you can improve upon.
That’s part of the magic of being a writer.
But it can be hard to know where you actually need the improvement. Which areas are your weakest and which do you excel in?
Here are top writing tips for beginners:
- Write what you want to read
- Write with intention
- Use psychology when writing
- Write as often as you can
- Eliminate distractions
- Research storytelling and story structure
- Always get feedback for writing
- Focus on new ways to phrase common visuals
- Practice writing when you’re not writing
- Use strong language
- Just write to write
- “Just do it.”
- “You’ve got to work.”
- “Write for yourself first.”
- “Quantity will make up for quality.”
- “Tell the truth.”
- “You can’t edit a blank page.”
It’s one thing to improve your grammar, it’s another to work on bettering the actual writing.
If you’re like me (and almost all writers out there), you likely struggle with insecurity in your writing. Us writers have a tendency to focus on the bad without knowing how to make it better, and this can often cost us our writing motivation.
If you’re ready to learn tips like the famous “show don’t tell” and more, keep reading, or check out the video below!
Writing Tips to Help You Become an Author
If you’re looking for a way to get your book done quickly and with quality, you’re in the right place.
How to Improve Writing with Tips for Writing a Book
In order to improve your writing skills, you have to commit to writing as much as you can, using different writing exercises, and reading often. You have to form a writing habit in order to do this.
But there is good news about this.
Your writing skills are not stagnant. They change and grow as you do.
Think of it as running. The more you run and train, the better you become. It can be really hard to write a book at first but as you learn new techniques, how to use literary devices, and new methods for making it easier, you become a stronger, better runner.
Writing is exactly the same.
The way you improve your writing skills is by making a commitment to you, your work in progress, and all the people who can benefit from your book.
How do You Become a Good Beginner Writer?
Being a good beginner writer is about learning the craft of writing and learning specific techniques that make writing good in the first place.
In fact, becoming a good beginner writer is all about reading as much as you can and writing as much as you can. This is what will help you recognize those literary elements you can then replicate and make your own when writing and editing.
Just like I mentioned above, the more you can write, the better you will get, and this makes publishing your book and showing it to the world much easier.
But it’s also about consuming content about becoming a better writer, like podcasts, blog posts, and videos around the craft of writing.
These are our favorite writing tips resources:
- The Self-Publishing School Youtube Channel
- Our Podcast, where we highlight success stories and learn how authors made it happen
- Jenna Moreci’s Youtube channel featuring the best fiction and self-publishing writing tips
- DailyWritingTips.com, a blog featuring unique and specific tips for writing
- Hannah Lee Kidder’s Youtube channel including tips from a multi-published fiction author
- This Stephen King video featuring his own tips
- Brandon Sanderson’s lectures from a college classroom
- Chandler Bolt’s personal Youtube channel for productivity advice and more
- JustPublishingAdvice.com, a blog dedicated to sharing helpful publishing and writing tips.
What are some writing tips for beginners?
Being a newbie writer is not easy. These are some of the top writing tips we suggest in order to improve your writing skills as a beginner.
Writing Tip #1 – Write what you want to read
If you yourself wouldn’t pick up the book or story you’re writing and read it with joy, then you shouldn’t’ be writing it.
“But what if I think other people will like it even if I don’t?”
This is a very common argument against this writing tip but it’s not sound. And the reason for that is because you’ll lack the passion.
When you create a story that you love yourself, it comes through in the writing. It’ll read as if the words and your protagonist and characters as a whole pop off the page instead of lying flat.
It will also be much easier to write and you’ll want to write it more than if you didn’t enjoy the story or topic as much.
So for this writing tip, ask yourself these questions:
- Would you pick it up to read the back cover?
- Would you personally look for a book like this?
- Is this a book genre you personally enjoy?
- Will you develop the characters in a way that makes you root for them?
- Is the story structure captivating to you?
- Have you read and loved other books with similar worlds/characters/stories?
If you can’t answer these questions with a confident “yes,” skip the book idea and write one you actually want to.
Writing Tip #2 – Write with intention
All writing has a purpose – and it needs a purpose if you want your writing to get better and read as something enjoyable.
When you have a reason for writing what you’re writing, it becomes so much easier and it feels like you’re fulfilling a purpose rather than just writing a book.
If all you’re doing is writing a book to make money, then your heart (and therefore your passion) is in the wrong place. This makes it very clear to readers through your writing.
Below is a writing tips exercise to help you achieve writing with intention.
Writing Tip #3 – Use psychology to write better
Yes, there is research involved no matter what kind of book you’re writing.
“But how can psychology actually help my writing improve?”
In order to craft your book in a way that speaks to readers how you intend it to, you have to understand how the human mind works.
This is how using psychology as a writing tip helps you get better:
- You’ll craft more realistic characters
- Your antagonist’s and protagonist’s motives will be more realistic
- You can take your readers on a better experience by learning to manipulate their emotions with your plot
- You can easily hit emotional triggers in readers that prompt them to keep turning pages
- You’ll better understand what it takes to write a novel that’s engaging
The Write Practice has a fantastic resource for how to use psychology to become a better writer.
Once you know how people interpret different events, messages, and themes, you can weave them into your book so it has more impact when they’re finished reading.
And for the fiction writers out there, psychology helps you create real and lifelike characters that leave readers itching to turn that page and read more about them and their journey.
Writing Tips Action Step:
In order to accurately research for your book, think about what you want your readers to take away from each chapter, and then the book as a whole.
Then research how real people interpret those specific messages.
If you want readers to feel inspired during a certain part of your book, research “psychology of inspiration” and read how one can build up to feel inspired and even how it affects their outlook in order to better craft the next chapters.
Writing Tip #4 – Write as often as you can
Even if all you’re writing is a paragraph, it’s better than not writing at all.
And if you can’t add on to your book for whatever reason (maybe a lack of an outline?), then write something else.
Here are a few ways you can utilize this writing tip by writing something else:
- Write a short story
- Start a new novel
- Write a poem
- Skip to a new section in your book to write
- Write about your life in prose to practice descriptions
The point is to write as often as you can because the more you write, the better you will get. It will help you pinpoint weaknesses in your writing and you’ll notice improvements as you write.
Writing more often also allows you to flex your imagination, which is indeed much like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets and therefore, you’ll be able to write with more creativity.
Writing Tip #5 – Eliminate distractions
In this age of technology and helpful writing software, there are endless amounts of distractions.
We almost always have our phones within reach, a computer right at our fingertips (literally, if you’re writing), and a TV nearby with access to Netflix, Hulu, and other attention-sucking programs.
If you want to write better, you have to eliminate distractions that keep you from writing.
Here are our writing tips to get rid of distractions:
- Use a distraction-blocking App like Freedom or PauseFor
- Shut your phone off and put it in another room
- Close out of all apps or windows on your computer
- Spend 15 minutes listening to music that reminds you of your book to get you in the zone
- Tell all your friends/family to leave you alone for writing time
As mentioned above, the more you write, the better you get. But you can’t write if you’re constantly checking your phone, email, or watching TV.
Writing Tip #6 – Research storytelling and story structure
This is largely for the fiction writers out there, but all writers can benefit from this writing tip of improving your storytelling.
Storytelling and writing are not the same things.
Writing is the way in which you describe what’s happening within the story. The story itself is a whole other piece of the puzzle – and is arguably the most important piece.
When you have a story idea worth writing, there’s a few things to remember.
Here are our top writing tips for learning the craft of storytelling:
- Study comedians – the reason comedy is, well, funny is because comedians know how to tell stories in a way that keep us on the edge of our seat, and then they surprise us, which often initiates the laughter.
- Learn from great storytellers – Stephen King is one of the best storytellers of all time. He has a book, On Writing, that touches on this craft. Give it a read for some of the best writing tips you’ll find.
- Read as much as you can – Writers learn how to write through reading. The more you read, and the wider variety of genres, the more you’ll naturally pick up on the art of storytelling.
- Get feedback on your stories – This is the hardest, but most crucial writing tip to help you improve. You have to understand your weaknesses in order to make them stronger. Ask friends and family for help in order to learn how to make your stories better.
Writing Tips Action Step:
Read books, listen to podcasts, or watch videos about the art of crafting a story.
Another great way to learn the ins and outs of storytelling is to watch great comedians. The reason they can make you laugh is how they craft what they’re saying.
Notice the pauses, when they speed through what they’re saying, and how they deliver that final line.
These are all techniques you can use on a larger scale when writing your book.
Writing Tip #7 – Always get feedback
This will always be the hardest, but most important part of improving your writing. Of all the writing tips to take and execute, this is the best one.
It’s very difficult to gauge your own writing – because you wrote it.
This is much like trying to tickle yourself. It just doesn’t work because you’re the person doing it and is much more effective when someone else does it.
That’s why the beta reading process is so vital. It’s when you let others read your book in order to gain feedback from people in your intended audience.
That’s what it’s like for your writing. You need an outside set of eyes on your work.
Here are some specific questions to ask others for this tip to improve writing:
- Did you find anything confusing or unclear?
- Did you understand why InsertNameHere did what they did?
- Were you able to easily follow the dialogue?
- Was the dialogue in writing clear and concise?
- Which character did you empathize with more?
- Do you have any predictions about what will happen?
- Do you have any feedback I didn’t ask you about?
Writing Tip #8 – Focus on new ways to phrase common visuals
One of the best ways you can strengthen your creativity is by consciously thinking about how you can describe common things in new, interesting ways.
You want to make people see that common item or situation or visual in a brand new light.
The way you can do this is to pause when you’re describing something in your writing and think to yourself, “how else can I explain this to create a stronger emotional impact?”
Here’s an example of this writing tip if you’re still a little confused:
“The sun set behind the trees and the world fell quiet.”
Is this a bad way to describe a sunset and night beginning? No. However, you can easily get more creative about how to illustrate this to readers through words.
“Night yanked the horizon over the sun, silencing the world with its absence.”
This is saying relatively the same thing, but in a way that stops and makes someone appreciate the way in which it was crafted.
Writing Tip #9 – Practice writing in your head
This might sound a bit confusing, so let me elaborate.
When you look at the world, how do you see it? Probably the same way everyone else does.
Here’s an example of how you can practice writing – but only in your own head. This can help you learn how to craft your prose to read in a beautiful, elegant fashion while also being unique and interesting to readers.
Right now, I’m looking out my window into the backyard. It has snow, the trees are bare, and the sky is a muted gray at the horizon, fading to a very faint blue as you look higher up.
This is a very typical visual for winter (especially in Wisconsin).
Now, in order to practice writing without writing, all you have to do is start describing what you see in prose that you would write in your own head.
“Stillness hung in the air thicker than Christmas morning eggnog, the ground covered in a thin sheet of white speckled with brown where the snow failed to make its mark. Bare branches reached toward the absent sun, reluctantly accepting the gray of winter in its place.”
This example is more prose than reality, but this is how you can sharpen those skill by just thinking in this way.Notice the world around you in the way you would write it in a book.
The more you practice this when you’re on the subway, making dinner, or even watching your family and friends interact, the easier it will be to write those situations in your book.
Think like a writer in order to become a better one.
Writing Tip#10 – Use strong language
This writing tip can completely transform your writing for the better.
It’s the single best way to make your writing more captivating without really adding anything new. You just simply have to replace weak language with stronger, more descriptive writing.
This can take some time to get used to but the more you do it, the easier it will get.
So how do you recognize weak language?
Here are some mistakes to look for in your writing to utilizing this writing tip:
- Passive voice – Passive voice is any use of a “to be” past participle. Now, that’s just a fancy way of saying that if you have something was done by something, it’s passive voice. An example of this is: “The chicken was beheaded by the farmer.” That is passive voice, whereas, “The farmer beheaded the chicken.” is active voice.
- Weak verbs – These are the basic, non-detailed version of better verbs. An example would be, “She walked to the store.” In this case, “walked” is the weak verb. You can use another form of this verb to create a stronger visual for your reader. Here’s what that would look like: “She strutted to the store.”
- Emotion explaining – Using words that are emotions in your writing is a pretty clear indicator you have to show and not tell. Saying, “She was scared,” is telling. You can create a better experience for the reader by showing that she’s scared through body language, dialogue, and description.