Writing tips #1: General

This thread is part of an experimental series, the first of writing tips. They are an accumulation of pointers and ideas from the perspective of an amateur writer. Naturally, take them as you will, but I’ve found them to work well for me. If anything, they serve as a public listing of thoughts and techniques. This section concerns with general writing. Any suggestions to improve the post are appreciated.


  1. Read often – The act of reading not only demonstrates the craft, but it also provides new ammunition for the artist. While reading in your genre is suggested, dabbling outside of it can show dividends. Other sources of media such as movies, video games, or even taking a hike may help, but reading should be your primary source of inspiration and knowledge.
  2. Write often – This is a no-brainer for most. The more you practice a craft, the better you will get. It’s important to make a habit of writing, but not to overdo it. Slow and steady wins the race. Form a writing schedule for yourself and defend it. However, sometimes long intervals of rest are necessary. If you feel yourself stagnating, try reviewing and editing your work for new inspiration and hints on proceeding. Creativity is a fickle mistress, so capitalize on her availability when you can.
  3. Exercise – On the note of taking a hike, exercise stimulates cerebral blood flow, resulting in better creative ideas and problem solving for your plot and character structure. Don’t be afraid to take a break and get some fresh air to stretch yourself. While you may think you’re wasting time, in the end, you’re writing efficiency will improve afterward, rather than stagnating. Sometimes this manifests as writers’ block, mainly the body and the mind desiring exercise to maximize its capabilities.
  4. Don’t be afraid to share – We all get it, criticism isn’t pleasant, especially when you see your hard work torn into pieces. However, once you mold those parts together, the result is always better than the previous product. Criticism is vital to a story’s success, so share it with friends and family as needed. When you get a little more adventurous, be sure to have strangers read it to get an unbiased opinion. However, one should differentiate between constructive criticism and the destructive type. If feedback isn’t helping, then reconsider the critic’s words in a different context. Ultimately, it is up to writers to draw from what works and resounds with them. Don’t feel pressured to alter your story just because someone hates it.
  5. Accept the reality of people – No matter how much you polish and perfect your work, there will always be people who love your work, people who hate it, and others who are relatively neutral. This behavior is the reality of humans. Don’t begrudge your haters, appreciate them for taking the time to consider your work. Embrace your fans as an extension of your influence. Gauge your community of readers and sift through it as needed, forming a legacy suitable for you.
  6. Be yourself – Don’t adhere to another person’s modality of writing unless you have to. Remember, you are the writer, the cosmic creator of your fictional world. With such immense power comes immense responsibility, and that can only sprout from being who you genuinely are.
  7. Keep the faith – Everyone goes through periods of self-doubt, particularly writers. Don’t give up and always believe in yourself. As long as stay true to yourself, that strength will weave into your work, one way or another.
  8. Time works for you, not against you – Contrary to what we’ve been taught in our fast-paced society, rushing through your story isn’t usually productive. Taking the time to chew chapters and gain sufficient feedback from readers and editors is essential. The longer you take to create, write, polish, and acquire viewpoints on your work, the better it will likely be. That said, one should keep up the steadiness of writing and set healthy goals.
  9. Nobody’s perfect – We’re all humans, and we make mistakes. We’re perfectly imperfect beings. Even bestsellers aren’t flawless. Accepting this notion as a humble writer will only relieve you of any stress from your demanding ego.
  10. Have fun – Last, but not least, enjoy what you do. Writing a story is a journey in itself. As you finish your final manuscript, look back at all the ordeals and effort put into your quest. Take time to acknowledge how it’s changed you. Cherish that loving appreciation as you move forward into your next work.

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