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How to Improve Your Writing

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 7:58 AM

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How to improve your writing



In 2013 I wrote an article called How to get more views on your Literature. I wanted to give actual practical advice from people who know, writers established in the DA lit community.The article was (and still is) very popular and seems to have helped a lot of folks so I decided to tackle a different (but way more important question)... how can we make our writing the best it can be?

Because it's great to show work to your friends but self improvement, or working towards a goal (for a lot of us that's a writing career, a novel, publication, competitions etc) is a whole different thing. So I asked some of DA's finest to spill the beans and answer those commonly asked questions 'How did you get so good?' 'Will I ever be able to write like this?' and 'Hi, is this Dominos?' (wrong number).

In How to get more views... I promised a pony if you read the whole article. With this article you win something even better! (Don't say self improvement Kate that's really cheesy)... SELF IMPROVEMENT! Oh damnit.


HugQueen

If you're not looking for ways to constantly better your writing ability and skills--you're probably doing it wrong. The trick is you don't need to read every single "help me write better" books out there all at once until your brain liquifies! All you need to do is get small amount of input on the different aspects of writing. As my favorite robot says, "Input, input!"

Be mindful and look at everything as a mini-lesson and we're not talking about full-on sit-in-a-clasroom and learn something for 40+ minutes. For example if you stumble across a good story that has a very relatable character ask yourself 'what makes them so relatable?' You don't need to do hard-core research and decipher much, think of generalities or vague points to help steer you in a good direction is what you should aim for.

Of course, in-depth doesn't hurt either. It's about finding a balance between the two and what works best for you as a student.


Alright, moving on.

Identify your weakest points. For me, it's dialogue, what do you skip over or avoid writing? Here are some common things you could be struggling with.

:pointr: Dialogue; keeping it authentic, flowing naturally and relevant to the plot.
:pointr: Word count; writing longer pieces and sustaining the same level of quality throughout.
:pointr: 'Telling' instead of 'Showing'; taking shortcuts instead of creating sensory imagery to lead a reader to what you want them to think.
:pointr: Cliches; language and phrases that transmit a lot of information but at the cost of being stale.
:pointr: Keeping up with the Joneses; or remembering who all your different characters are, what their purposes are, what their narrative arcs are - oh god
:pointr: Rhyme, Rhythm, Meters, Syllables; All the confusing math like calculations to maximise the effect of your words. What does it all mean!?
:pointr: Remembering to drop words like 'was' and 'is' and replace them with more efficient and active alternatives.
:pointr: Spelling, grammar, punctuation and presentation.
:pointr: Finding or staying true to your artistic voice and style.

...Okay I'm going to stop listing now because it's getting depressing, but hopefully we will cover more things that you might need help with below.


unfaithfulstars

There will never be a permanent best. Only a permanent "better," and temporary bests. "Best" isn't, and should never be, a destination, in my opinion. "Better" should be the destination. You should always do the best you can, but since you're always improving, just work to be better than you already are.

Having the right mindset is... huge. (I might be rambling here, but I can't stress it enough!) With the right attitude, you will get anywhere you want to be -- not just as a writer. Remember, it is okay to get frustrated. It is okay to quit for a little while and come back to your work; sometimes, it is the right thing to do, to let off a little steam and any negative feelings before another attempt.

True progress doesn't happen overnight. Sometimes, it is so gradual that it is hard to see immediately.

It is okay to stay within your comfort zone, but you should not be afraid to step out of it. Let's give you guys a real example: me. I am most comfortable writing free verse poetry. But there are still many different forms of poetry that I have yet to explore and familiarize myself with, and some of these alien art forms can be intimidating, I get that. But I promise you: the more time you give yourself to work with new material, the more you'll improve, and the more you will enjoy it!

Be open-minded. No one is perfect; we all know that. You have got to be ready to accept -- to embrace -- your flaws. The first step towards improvement is acknowledging that you have something to improve.


Identifying what you need to improve is, of course, a great first step to improving. If you don't know what's wrong with your work but you feel like it could be better you have a couple of potential courses of action available to you.

:pointr: Read stuff. On and off(!!) of DeviantART, read stuff! Read other writer's work, think about how they do what they do, work out how you can do it too. If a writer is really good at making you feel afraid before something scary happens, for example, look through the words and work out how they are doing it. Writing is a craft like any other and you can learn a lot just by paying more attention to how other people do their work.
:pointr: Ask people. There are many critique opportunities on DeviantART. If you are a core member you can turn on Critiques when you post. Any member can submit their work to critique-specific groups (if you know any good ones, why not name them below and help your fellow writers hook up with them!). Hell, even this group has a Seeking Critiques folder so you can indicate to the other members that you want help. Other writers, particularly young writers in communities like ours, love to help each other out. So ask the community for help.
:pointr: Tutorials, self-help books, books about writing etc. These books keep getting printed so someone must be reading them!
:pointr: Experiment. Try new things. Don't be afraid to write pure crap. No one else needs to know. Start writing. Stop writing. Start something else. There's no reason not to be writing erotic horror fan fiction whilst you try and find new techniques for your sci fi novel. They might seem like totally different things but writing is writing and all of it can teach you something.

What NOT to do:

:pointr: Compare your work unfavourably to someone else's. That might seem like a really quick way to work out where you are 'lacking' but we're always impressed by things we can't do, so you'll just notice all the things you like and not notice what they might be weak at. Give yourself a break. Your writing will evolve and grow every day you do it for the rest of your life. You are a unique person completely different to every other person ever alive, so so is your writing. Use other people's work as something to learn from but not as a weapon to punish yourself with.


GuinevereToGwen

You're only a good writer if you're a good editor, and if you aren't a good enough editor to properly critique your own writing, send your work out to people whose opinions you trust.

Listen to the people who think your work is flawless, but most importantly, listen to the people who think it's flawed. Learn to incorporate others' ideas with your own. When you are lucky enough to receive it, listen carefully to feedback given by professionals. Some of the best writing tips I've ever received were from very kind rejection letters by agents and lit magazines. They can explain exactly what you did wrong and exactly how you can fix it better than your mother ever could (unless she's a professional agent or editor, but most of us aren't that lucky). Learn from every crappy piece you have ever written or will ever write.



Once you've worked out what you perceive to be your weaknesses, experiment. If you are lucky enough to have a group of friends or watchers who know your body of work quite well then pay attention to their comments. There have been times when I've thought 'oh, my work is a bit stagnant lately I need to stop writing about that one thing' and then I've tried something else and I've had responses that show they perceived the change as forced and not for the better. Just because you think you're bad at something doesn't make it true remember. So if your readers miss something you used to do, go back to it! Positive feedback is just as important as negative feedback because it tells us what to keep. It's so so important to notice what you're good at and what helps make your work authentic and truthfully yours.


fiercestrawberry

What I get comments on the most is the "raw" feeling present in my poetry- the fluidity, the ineloquence, the lack of any sort of masking or sugarcoating- I always try to get to the point and get there quickly because I write in tiny bursts (typically less than five minutes) riding on strong emotions and then submit what I write without a second thought. Sometimes I comb back through for spelling errors, but I do as little editing as possible. I didn't even realize that was anything different from what everybody else was doing until I saw in a description that it took somebody 2 hours to write a poem- I couldn't imagine that.

I think putting too much thought into my writing is a fine way of diminishing the meaning behind it.This reigns true for characters and ideas alike- you cannot control them, but you should let them control you and your writing. You shouldn't try and mimic anybody or force yourself to write anything that doesn't feel natural- you should pour your heart into it and not be afraid of what you have to say.


In my last article I did a brief section about whether or not your work is 'good'. It's by NO means a comprehensive list because all art is subjective. What you might think is great, might be completely over my head - but it's worth considering the readers perspective. If you didn't know you or any of your other work, what would you get from this single piece of writing.


neurotype

I don't think of it as 'writing.' I think of it as 'producing a finished work.' Writing is the bottom rung of the ladder—all first drafts suck, no matter how good they feel to write—and the rest of it is editing, and then editing again. Of course, the latter doesn't work if you don't keep an open mind. You have to be willing to believe that you might, in fact, have produced absolute shit in order to make it better.


So, consider;

:pointr:  Is your idea unique? It might be a broad subject (like love) with a unique set of imagery. It might be something abstract and new. What makes your work worth reading?
:pointr: Is your work well crafted? Did you use techniques to strengthen the communication of your idea?
:pointr:  Did you proof read it? Whilst spelling mistakes, grammar and punctuation issues don't make your piece 'bad' it can be an obstruction between you and your audience, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to enjoy your work so that the most people possible can, right? So take a minute to check for obvious mistakes. I am really poor at this and have to focus really hard on it and still make tonnes of mistakes, but that one minute proof read catches more than you think and can clean up your first impression on your reader.
:pointr:  WHY? If you have an unusual layout with indentations or no capital letters; why? Its fine to do both of those things (I do!) but only if you do it on purpose. If you choose to do it because it's the right thing to do to reflect the meaning of your work. Don't drop capital letters out of laziness or because it's currently trendy. You don't need to be trendy, you need to be yourself.
:pointr:  Lastly, would you read it, enjoy it, recommend it to a friend? You always have your Scrapbook gallery if not. You can edit it in the future or just keep it there as a record of something you've written without everyone having to see it. You know that expression "You're only as good as your last game"? If someone came into your gallery and clicked this piece at random and read it and decided whether or not to invest any more time exploring your gallery based on this piece, would they? If this piece doesn't exemplify your capabilities as a writer, then put it away for now.


BlackBowfin

These are a few of the general guidelines that I try to aspire to when writing poetry. Nothing official- just things I’ve gathered in school (so many years ago), from friends here on dA and from the many words I’ve drowned and re-drowned under the bridge.

Find the right balance of dream and reality. Abstract images/dream objects can prove useful for tugging at the reader's subconscious thoughts/memories or those just below the surface. They can influence a poem's mood and tone at least as effectively as any linear statement. Not to mention that they add an essential ethereal texture of both truth and mystery at the same time.

In that same vein, rather than just stating the mood of a poem, let the imagery steer readers toward it. The reaction you evoke is much stronger when you let the reader's mind work it over and come to certain conclusions (somewhat) on their own. They may come to different conclusions than you had intended, but that's the price of freedom, folks. :)

Try to avoid using unsupported and sweeping descriptive terms like- happy, sad, depressing. When used alone, they bypass critical interactions between the poem and the reader. Your work misses its chance to gain the emotional investment needed to deepen the reader's reaction.

Lean heavily on metaphor. Using "like" and "as if" too much can quickly undermine the credibility of your poetic voice. Similes leave room for doubt and questions. You need to sound like you, as the author, have already made the same transcendental leap into truth that your poetry asks its readers to make.

When you think you’re done, read your work aloud, several times, as it’s laid out on the page. This is harder than it sounds, because you’re reading something that you’ve written and your mind already knows where it’s going. I find that my mind often manipulates the movement and cadence in order to break the lines in such a way that it all fits neatly into more eye-appealing strophs/stanzas. The structure may look prettier, but it can easily break the natural flow of the words. This is something that I’ve just recently started focusing on- letting lines that need to be longer, just be longer.


Common advice to improve your writing is just to write! There is some truth to that. My lecturer told me in my first lecture "If you write 300 words a day, its 2100 words in a week. That's 109200 words in a year. If you write that volume of words, the odds of liking some of them are pretty high" and he was right. Compared to writing nothing, its 109200 times more likely that some of those words could be something special.. but it took it being broken down like that in front of me to make me think - oh.


chromeantennae

Write. As often as you can. And definitely experiment along the way. For me, as I've reached-- what I believe to be a decent staple of style for my own personal works-- has come through a lot of simple repetition. They say once you put in 10,000 hours of something, no matter what it is, you're bound to be good at it, no matter what that thing is. And while I've only been writing about 2, 2 and a half years now and I've yet to reach my peak, I do believe that I've put in quite enough time (and surely enough overtime) to have a decent handle on writing.

When I first started, I started with rhyming poetry-- structured poems. Then as I "matured" as a writer, I fell into free verse and every once in a blue moon, I'll toy with a structured piece now. But when I first got started, my main focus was rhyming things and keeping things in a very dogged place. It was good for awhile but then my tings started to become a little more stagnant. So I started playing with "gllitchy" features and tried to incorporate that into my writing. Then eventual free verse came.

So, I think with that being said, I believe the best way to improve as a writer is to write as often as you can and always, always, always try different things. You can have a focus and a thing you're really good with (i.e. imagery, metaphor, line breaks, word choice, rhyming, alliteration, wordplay, etc.), but I do believe the high point of a writer is a writer that writes and that writes with a purpose. Be it to improve, tell a story, or become more versatile.



I've always heard to write a lot... but it's never really suited me. I write whenever it comes to me, but having my lecturer break it down into numbers made me realise that some of it is just simple maths. The more I write, the more writing I have, and therefore the more writing that might be any good. Not to mention the self-perpetuating growth that comes from just practicing your craft.


SilverInkblot

A thing I see with writers a lot is this pressure to always be writing. It's a tip I see a lot from people, and it's always bothered me; write every day. A noble sentiment perhaps, but my own experiences in attempting to write every day merely left me frustrated.

I'm a collector - I wait for things to come to me. I never, ever force myself to write anything. A reader can tell when something has been forced, when it didn't come from somewhere authentic. A poem or a story is ready in its own time and I can only speed up the process so much.

That's not to say I don't work on my writing - that's a given. But there's a difference between that and throttling your own sense of creativity. Some writers can make themselves write constantly with no difficultly, but I simply don't work that way. Don't beat yourself up if it's not your method either.



These guys both make great points but I think when other writers tell you to just bloody well write something it comes from a good place. Lots of people paralyse themselves with fear. They don't write anything because they aren't sure it'll be perfect; spoiler alert - It doesn't have to be! Put pen to paper because no one needs to see what comes out and it could lead to something incredible. I have a huge stack of snippets of poems and sometimes I go through them months after I wrote them down and then it'll spark a full poem. You never know what can evolve from just trying to write stuff down.



doughboycafe

For me, there is always a process of pre-writing. I'm a prose writer and I generally do longer work, so what I do once I get an idea is I outline it and see how the story is going to be structured. I don't need to make this intial outline incredibly detailed, as some things will come to me as I write the story. But the outline will help me once I have an admittedly sucky first draft to look back and decide if what I wrote fits the story I wanted to tell. It also helps me see if there are scenes, paragraphs, or lines that are dead weight - if I can ask, does this part move the plot? does it move a character along their personal plot? and the answer is no, it can be cut. Plus, when you're stuck an outline will tell you where you need to go next, so it's always good in my opinion to do a little planning.


Another common reason to tell people to get writing is when people say they don't have time.... If you're reading this article and you've ever said those words I challenge you to question yourself on it (I have to challenge myself on this daily so no judgement).

If you want writing to be your job (as a lot of us do), then it has to be your job. You have to work at it. You have to practice, research, try. You have to sacrifice half an hour of Netflix or sleep or time on the phone with your bestie - because its your job.

It's perfectly okay to write because you love it! I highly recommend that, but if your intention is to take your writing seriously, then take it seriously. It's a job like any other and it requires commitment and time put in, you don't get to spend half an hour doing something you love and then cash a cheque. Writing is real, its a real job. It's a hard job. If you want to write for a living because you are passionate about it, then do it. If you wanna write for a living because you're already writing so you might as well get paid for it plus its kind of fun and it would be cool not to be tied down to a job - stop! It's just not that simple.

If you want to do it, do it. Find the time, make the time. That said, if you (like SilverInkblot and myself) tend to wait for inspiration to come to you, that's okay too, but try actively engaging in inspiration. Art galleries, museums, people-watching on the street, books, poetry, politics, philosophy - there is a lot going on in the world you can absorb that will make you want to write and you can choose to seek it out if you wish to. (If you don't, that's okay too. I'm writing this article instead of editing a short story that is due in 48 hours and I'm in my pyjamas... so....)


Mrs-Freestar-Bul

Instead of giving you tips or advice on how to improve your writing or make it better, I want to tell you, drop the fear and just write.

I have met so many writers, who really have such skill and ability to write, but often while they thank me for featuring their work or faving it , they say that they were not even going to share this on DA, or they were hesitating to write it in the first place.

To improve yourself as a writer, just start by writing any idea that comes to your mind, develop it, work on it, give it your best and then share it with everybody else.


Okay... brace yourselves guys... it's that thing we all fear. The word we all shiver at... or maybe thats just me...

It's time to talk about Editing. I am very bad at editing in the traditional sense (of revisions and many drafts) but having gone into a Creative Writing degree specifically to learn about editing I found that I utilise a lot of editing techniques as I write. So whilst I do completely agree that editing is important for a lot of people, and that learning more about editing can help your writing (if you know what mistakes you're gonna edit out like Showing not Telling, you become more aware of them as you write them!) I will also say that every writer is different on this topic. Some published bestsellers are on the record saying they hate editing, and some love it, and some do it compulsively and some not at all. Learn about it, and make the decision for yourself, but do learn about it!


JosephBlakeParker

In my experience, there have been two things that have worked hand-in-hand to help me see improvement in my writing. The first of these is learning how to accept criticism. It took me a long time, but I finally found someone who would sit down and cut my stories to bits with a red pen—going through and telling me the harsh realities of my mistakes. I'm not talking about finding the sentences, paragraphs, and adverbs I needed to modify—but the entire chapters, plot points, and characters, that needed to be cut because they added nothing to the story. At first, this was very difficult to accept due to the biases I held and how close the story was to me. But by taking a break, gaining some distance, and learning not to react emotionally to criticism, I was able to come back to the story and actually see my flaws enough to improve.

The second thing that has helped me improve my writing is learning to be strategic and purposeful with everything I do. I used to think that storytelling was flying by the seat of your pants, and just writing whatever idea seemed clever at the time (and would get huffy and puffy whenever someone dared mention “rules” or “methods” to me). This resulted in a jumbled and confused mess that could only be fixed by my having to cut countless chapters, characters, and events. Everything a writer puts in their story should have a purpose, and one of the greatest milestones for a writer is deliberately enacting this level of strategy and planning. I now study the elements of story, I plan my steps, schedule and pace myself, and find that I improve every day for it.



Taking critique (or as I call it as I weep in my tower 'criticism') can be hard. Let's be honest. My poetry lecturer once said when she sends her poem to her friends for a critique, even after 30 years of being a published poet, part of her heart hopes they'll reply "this is perfect in every way, change nothing!" but that never happens.


LadyLincoln

I feel the best way to improve one’s writing is to simply write: “write it out” when it feels natural to do so, and find a generous pre-plan. Especially for prose writers: outlining and pre-plotting are ideal. Overall, one must have an idea of where they should like to go with the depths of their writing, and not be afraid to follow their instincts. Experiment with those words, and trust those intuitions. Take the time to practice your literary passions – and always listen to your inner voice. Our heartfelt words do have the ability to completely mold and change us – use that power.


The thing I like to remind people of is that writing (usually I'm talking about poetry specifically here) is a form of communication. You're trying to communicate an experience to someone else (whether real or imagined, a thought, an event, a sensation, some kind of conscious experience you have had). No other person is ever going to have lived your life in your body exactly the way you have, so no one can possibly read your poem and understand every letter in the precise way you intended it to be read, because they have a different set of mental references, a different framework to their world, different feelings and thoughts to you.

What your writing is doing is trying to get what the reader reads as close to what you want them to as possible.

For me that means meaning is always king, and for a long time I completely ignored techniques. I would say what I wanted to say and that was good enough. But I came to realise that the point of techniques isn't to restrict what you want to say, its to strengthen it.

Things like rhythm in a poem can be used to replicate a heartbeat for example, in a poem about love. This technique by itself means nothing but in the context of the meaning of your poem you can use it to add another layer of complexity that will subconsciously give more clues to your readers.

John Betjeman used a bunch of sibilance in his poems about Cornwall to add the shhh sound of the ocean. Raymond Carver left his main characters without names and often no dialogue to represent nameless anxieties in them. Sylvia Plath used Nazi imagery to talk about her father because at the time she was writing after the Nuremberg trials a Nazi doctor was the darkest imagery in the American psyche and it was therefore the way to show an association with all the worst traits in humanity for her readers. These are all utilisations of techniques in order to strengthen what you are meaning to say.

It's alright to focus on the meaning, but if you learn about techniques you will have the power to use them if you choose to, and they can be pretty damn powerful in helping your reader get a pinpoint precise version of what you wanted them to see.


Tangled-Tales

I believe to ameliorate your writing, and thus become the best writer you can be, you must first and foremost do one thing: write. The only way to improve and get more feedback is to write, and to do so fervently. Don't hesitate to jot down an idea, no matter if it’s as simple as a pairing of two words that you enjoy together, or an obscure word you heard on the radio. These ideas do not need to be neatly written, but rather can be chicken-scratch calligraphy on scraps of paper, school notes, or dirty napkins. Write anywhere and everywhere, and do not care who watches you.

Not caring- another key piece to become a better writer. In order to uniquely express yourself, to establish your own voice, you must not be afraid of judgment. There will always be those who don’t believe in what you’re saying or doing- and it is unimportant. I’m not saying to not take constructive criticism, but at the end of the day, just stick to what you believe in. Love what you do, and you will improve. You will become a better writer, you will grow as a writer, if you are relentlessly yourself in doing so. Be fearless.

Always be humble. There will be those ahead of where you want to be, and those below where you want to be- both can help you on your journey of becoming the best you can. With being humble, always be kind. People are more willing to help someone who treats them how they want to be treated, as trite as it sounds. If you want someone to help you grow, you must first help them- which can be most simply done by treating them nicely. In this case, if the nice people are finishing last, as the old mantra goes, I believe the mean people will never finish.

To sum up simply- write, be fearless, be humble, and be kind. Master these, and nothing can stop you from being the best writer you can be. Stay wonderful, and keep writing!



    At the end of the day, this article mainly reflects my own personal thoughts and it isn't going to work for everyone but I wanted to give more depth to the advice we all hear about improving our work. Hearing it from people who actively engage in improving their work that you may have seen grow by watching them, might encourage you guys to listen and consider.. but at the end of the day you are the only person who knows what works for you. So if something works for you that is completely unique, do that, just be aware that there are other ways to improve if you need them.

Malintra-Shadowmoon

When I would be forced to act like common people do, I would have a constant writer's block because I only function "good" with my technique how I create my works. I am a "spiritual" writer - that is not only restricted to the contents of my works but applies also to the "how". The less hints or pictures or whatever to inspire, the better. Too many has a distracting effect and confuses me. Just a simple word as a topic is enough. Just have an example: Summer. And it depends how much time I have to write the work. If it should be the same day, I can only meditate upon this topic. If I should have a night inbetween, I dream about it in the most lucid dreams. I start with an empty head and receive so many pictures passing by before my inner/third eye. The only thing I do is note them down. That is my work. The greatest compliment from a reader would be when he sees while reading the same pictures I had when I was dreaming/meditating about - so I have reached my ultimate message. This technique prevents me from writer's block (never had one) and allows me to jump into contest just on the deadline day.
Readers usually say that I am writing in pictures.


    I would like to thank HugQueen, GuinevereToGwen, unfaithfulstars, fiercestrawberry, neurotype, chromeantennae, SilverInkblot, Mrs-Freestar-Bul, LadyLincoln, BlackBowfin, Malintra-Shadowmoon, JosephBlakeParker, doughboycafe, Tangled-Tales and TheMaidenInBlack for taking the time to share their insight about their work with us. Thank you guys!

    I hope this article has given you a lot to think about. I think in the main there are some big questions for each reader to consider, either privately or in the comments. At the bottom of this article I've listed some questions for you to think about.


TheMaidenInBlack

Truth be told, I'm not the best writer I could be. I'm not putting in enough effort, not shedding enough blood and sweat - I do my best WHEN I CAN, and take all the chances for improvement that I can afford to take, but nonetheless I could do more.

Being the best writer you can be, to me, is always trying your best, always pushing for more, always knowing that you're not your best until you're doing everything you can to be so. You read lots, edit your work, rely on other people's advice and critique, push your limits outside your comfort zone, give critique, research properly when needed, study what little there is to study before diving head on into something totally new.

And yes, it takes time to see improvement, years even, but the truth is that when you're doing your best it doesn't matter if you ARE the best. You're giving it your all, so you already are. Results will follow.




Questions for the readers:



:pointr: Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing?
:pointr: What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved (this might help you identify what your weaknesses are!)
:pointr: Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!)
:pointr: Of the things you'd like to improve, pick one you are interested in exploring and try and find resources to help you. For example groups on deviantART like Writing-Tutorials, theWrittenRevolution or CRLiterature or WritersWorkshop. Websites, blogs, books or other writers on DA. Look around you, what can you use to help improve in this field?
:pointr: Are you committed to this? If you are, remind yourself of why this is important to you and decide if you want to actively engage in improving in this area. If not, that's okay too! But think about why not.
:pointr: Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it?
:pointr: Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?
:pointr: Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out!
:pointr: How about you write 50 words right now? It could take mere minutes. Even if you just write 'Oh god kate do shut up, see I wrote something, you happy now?' give it a go? You never know what might be lurking under your conscious annoyance at me begging to be written about :giggle:
:pointr: Did you find this article helpful?
:pointr: Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive!
:pointr: Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? :eager:



PoetryOD

:peace:



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Add a Comment:
 
:iconsplittheskies:
SplitTheSkies Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015
Some great advice here. Very helpful.
Reply
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
So, so honored once again. :heart:
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:huggle:
Reply
:iconduperghoul:
Duperghoul Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh my goodness! Um, thanks. This is gonna be a while to take in, but I need this.

I'm a bit busy at the moment, but I have his journal in a sub-favorites box, for later.
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry for my late reaction: Original and educational article and it was very interesting to read the standpoint of other writers as well :heart:
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015
:love: Thank you for helping!
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You are very welcome :hug:
Reply
:iconkiwi-damnation:
kiwi-damnation Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015   Writer
Thanks for this :) The writers featured were wonderfully insightful :)
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015
:D
Reply
:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 16, 2015   Writer
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing?
Black Cat Bullet I write non-fiction and poetry, mostly.  I'm awful at fiction. Ashamed  (:lol: Oops!  Totally just woke up enough to realize the question waswhy, not what I write! :dummy:  This is what I get for skipping meals and sleep.  Anyway, I write to make sense of the world, plain and simple.  As for what motivates me?  I'm not sure.  This whole thing started with random assignments and a chance meeting, and it's been going for more than 15 years now.)  At the moment, I'd like to improve so I can just get back in the game.  I was down for a really long time, and I definitely let my writing slip.  I want to fix that.

Point Right What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved (this might help you identify what your weaknesses are!)
Black Cat Bullet The fact that when I have someone else read my work back to me, especially when there are line breaks involved, it simply isn't right.  It sounds choppy and stilted, and the cadence is all wrong.

Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!)
Black Cat Bullet My line breaks are off, and I've noticed a bit of my speaking voice creeping in where my writing voice should be dominant.  I speak with a touch of the local accent, so the way I say a word isn't always the way the rest of the world would say it, even if it's spelled exactly the same.  I guess it's my inflections differ from the norm.  It just doesn't translate well.  I can make a good rhythm when I'm aware of this, though, so I guess that's one good thing.  And my phrasing seems all right, as well.  I think I do an okay job of showing, rather than telling, too.

Point Right Of the things you'd like to improve, pick one you are interested in exploring and try and find resources to help you. For example groups on deviantART likeWriting-TutorialstheWrittenRevolution or CRLiterature orWritersWorkshop. Websites, blogs, books or other writers on DA. Look around you, what can you use to help improve in this field?
Black Cat Bullet Already on it! :dummy: I'm now attending a workshop here in town, and I'm hoping that will help straighten me out.  It should also help with my paralyzing fear of being out and about and (gasp!) engaging with people outside of my social circle.  That should come in handy when it comes time to get back into things like open mic nights. :nod:

Point Right Are you committed to this? If you are, remind yourself of why this is important to you and decide if you want to actively engage in improving in this area. If not, that's okay too! But think about why not.
Black Cat Bullet I am committed. (Brace yourself - it's story time! My Dork Dance )

Not long after my mother passed away and my stepmother moved in, I was tasked with cleaning out Mom's office.  She had been a writer, too, though she had never quite managed to get her writing where she wanted it to be.  She got stuck in the world of writing for a 9-5 corporate gig, doing technical manuals so we could have food on the table and a roof over our heads, and while she was good at it and she did enjoy it on some level, it wasn't creative.  It wasn't art.  It wasn't a book, and a book was what she wanted.  She wanted more than one.  She wanted a shelf full.

Anyway, there in that office, I unearthed a file I'd never seen before - my mother's writing resume.  Most of it was news articles, plus a list of publications that seemed to be missing from the file, and two-thirds of it was from before my brother and I were born.  But she'd held onto it.

I held that file in my arms for hours, going back over these little scraps of her writing as if memorizing them would somehow make them bigger, like it would make her career as a writer into something more if I could just read those few lines one more time.  I went through the list of the missing, wishing I could read every short story on there, trying to imagine her voice on the page.

She never made her writing a priority because we were her priority.  I feel like I would be dishonoring her if I didn't at least try.

Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it?
Black Cat Bullet I've been thinking of trying fixed forms again, to help me work on some of the technical skills and get my work back in shape.  The only thing in the way of me doing that right now is time.  It is fair season.  And harvest time.  And it sounds like I'm making excuses, but honestly, if you live out here, you know how big of a deal county fairs can be.  After Grange, and the tractor show at Penn's Cave, life will be back to normal. :)

Point Right Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?
Black Cat Bullet I edit relentlessly.  I lose sleep over editing.  I skip meals to edit.  Most of my poetry starts out as a page or more of raw thoughts, and by the end of it, I might have a poem of three sentences.  Or even just one.  This is all right for poetry, but I know I could never write a novel.  Well, I'm sure I could write it - I just wouldn't be able to get it right.  I'd drive myself crazy.  It's a compulsion for me, editing and slashing the unnecessary, and it can be difficult to know when to stop.  It's a bit of a double-edged sword for me, then, I suppose.:ponder: 

Point Right Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out!
Black Cat Bullet I have a small network of close friends and family I rely on consistently for feedback, and they are amazing! :heart: Of course, I also tend to bribe them with baked goods, so that might skew their opinion a bit... :psycho-cookie:   

Point Right How about you write 50 words right now? It could take mere minutes. Even if you just write 'Oh god kate do shut up, see I wrote something, you happy now?' give it a go? You never know what might be lurking under your conscious annoyance at me begging to be written about Giggle
Black Cat Bullet Today will be fresh salsa, made from Yellow Pears we bought from Cousin Scott yesterday. We'll dig out Aunt Gail's recipe for guacamole, and bake those red corn tortillas into chips.  When the chicken falls apart in the crock pot, we'll cut lettuce from the garden for our favorite - taco salads.  We can eat them on the deck, in our bare feet if we want to, over pennyroyal tea and next year's growing plans.

(74 words.  Sorry!  And you did ask me while I was planning supper, so... =p )

Point Right Did you find this article helpful?
Black Cat Bullet These articles are always helpful  And fun!  Thank you for posting them. :heart:

Point Right Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive!
Black Cat Bullet My best critique people are off-site. :( (But, Becky, my dear, should you ever read this - you are the bestest at keeping my on my writerly toes! :heart: And I know I just made you cringe.  At least twice.  You can yell at me next time you're over for tea. Tea )

Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? :eager: by darkmoon3636
Black Cat Bullet You pretty much covered it, really.  I did a bit of freewriting on the topic last week, but I won't torture you with that. ^^;
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015
:eager: beautiful story and reason to write :]
Reply
:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015   Writer
Aww, thanks, hon. ^^;
Reply
:iconthedraconian:
TheDraconian Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Student General Artist
This actually inspired me to start writing again. I don't have any ideas, but I kind of want to write, and I thank you for that.
I'll look at this article again when I need motivation. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and for reaching out to writers for their opinions.
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015
:love: Thanks for reading and enjoying! I'm glad it helped :D
Reply
:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Professional Writer
Yep, BloodshotInk rocked this... yet again. Seal of approval 
Seal  
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015
:giggle: Awww, thank you hon! 
Reply
:iconblackbowfin:
BlackBowfin Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Good article, Kate. A very large undertaking and you rocked it. :highfive:
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015
:blush: :blowkiss: Thanks hon
Reply
:iconguineveretogwen:
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Student Writer
Really good job, Kate. :heart:
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015
Thanks :D
Reply
:iconsailorcross:
SailorCross Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing?
Because it is fun to take all my interests and make them work. It also relaxes me after a stressful day at work and helps me understand situations or channel them into something I can control.
Point Right What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved (this might help you identify what your weaknesses are!) Where do I begin? Everything from naming characters, to figuring out what they look like, to understanding who some characters are, and species.
Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!) Strongest is dialog, weakest umm... descriptions and names.
Point Right Of the things you'd like to improve, pick one you are interested in exploring and try and find resources to help you. For example groups on deviantART likeWriting-TutorialstheWrittenRevolution or CRLiterature orWritersWorkshop. Websites, blogs, books or other writers on DA. Look around you, what can you use to help improve in this field? Feed back, and painting, if I can't describe something but I can see it might help.
Point Right Are you committed to this? If you are, remind yourself of why this is important to you and decide if you want to actively engage in improving in this area. If not, that's okay too! But think about why not. You have no idea, still working on my novel that I've been doing for 15 years.
Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it? Maybe, I'm still unsure everything I write though feels like crap, so confidence I guess. Often, time, internet, tv, work...
Point Right Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work? YES! Because one, I write like a mad woman and have so many grammar probs and typos, two I can see how clunky sentences are, three it's easier to see logic errors, I could go on. Plenty, I have first write to my novel and a rewrite you'd see the differences are stark.
Point Right Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out! My family doesn't always give me great feedback but I have one author friend and a bunch of really honest friends, they are a God send.
Point Right How about you write 50 words right now? It could take mere minutes. Even if you just write 'Oh god kate do shut up, see I wrote something, you happy now?' give it a go? You never know what might be lurking under your conscious annoyance at me begging to be written about Giggle Dust kicked up dancing to the tune of unheard songs. Splotches of color burst forth as they are uncovered to be coated as the whirlwind ends, songs of birds and hidden crickets add their chorus to the sky. Upon this stretch of dusty road a red object crests the horizon in waves of unusual oceans.
Point Right Did you find this article helpful? Somewhat I just skimmed since I have to run off to work.
Point Right Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive! Only three are deviants here and I could never repay them adequately.
Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? Idk
Reply
:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Professional Writer
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing? I write because no one else can tell my stories.
I want to improve because why would anyone want to stay just ok at something they love?

Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!)
Introspective narrative and dialogue respectively.

Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it?
I try all sorts of new things. No use getting in a rut.

Point Right Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?
Yes, I edit. Thoroughly. I go through an average of 5-6 drafts per piece. I should think there is ample evidence for why editing works and not editing is a bad idea, especially with prose. Because if you don't want a draft full of inevitable typos or awkwardly constructed sentences, you are going to have to do it. Also, I am not so arrogant to think that everything I do is perfect the first go around.

Point Right Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out!
Got plenty of friends and plenty of deviants who will tell it like it is. I like blunt, honest feedback. I don't share my stuff for publication with anyone who is going to give me bland, nice feedback - that won't help.

Point Right Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive!
As far as groups, I can't sell theWrittenRevolution enough. Also, I miss WritersWorkshop

Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? :eager: by darkmoon3636
If you spend all your time talking about writing and not doing it, then you will not write.
Reply
:iconclockspur:
Clockspur Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing? I write to tell stories; I've always like doing that. I suppose I just want to stay true to my science-fiction roots and make something fantastic.
Point Right What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved (this might help you identify what your weaknesses are!) Well, nobody really notices mine. I know, it sounds like whining, but I don't know what I can contribute. It's like bringing a desert to a party but nobody touches it all night.
Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!) (I think) Scenery and flow are my strongest, plot is my weakest.
Point Right Of the things you'd like to improve, pick one you are interested in exploring and try and find resources to help you. For example groups on deviantART likeWriting-TutorialstheWrittenRevolution or CRLiterature orWritersWorkshop. Websites, blogs, books or other writers on DA. Look around you, what can you use to help improve in this field? ...Well, I haven't tried anything. Suggestions?
Point Right Are you committed to this? If you are, remind yourself of why this is important to you and decide if you want to actively engage in improving in this area. If not, that's okay too! But think about why not. To be honest, I'm not sure. But if it can put me in the right direction...maybe.
Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it? ...Possibly?
Point Right Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work? Editing saves my life every time.
Point Right Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out! ...Not at the moment.
Point Right How about you write 50 words right now? It could take mere minutes. Even if you just write 'Oh god kate do shut up, see I wrote something, you happy now?' give it a go? You never know what might be lurking under your conscious annoyance at me begging to be written about Giggle 
    "They were right about the rings of Saturn: The surface reflecting the sun, the colossal debris,  even the ever so sleek feel of the shining bind holding the rocks in endless circles of light and color.
    "I sat alone, as usual. An airship as it was, it was still a floating stellar cruise ship for the rich and higher-up. I was just lucky to earn a place aboard. And I suppose I should appreciate that. It was a beautiful ship too; rumors throughout the adventuring community have claimed that its inspiration is a hybrid of Le Palais Garnier's beauty and the Martian Regiment's strength. Gold highlights the red velvet halls and climb the inner spires of the ship, tracing the pictures, the lifelines and emphasizing how big and how grand they were. Subtlety did not exist here.  
     "As I sipped the specialty tea of the day I pondered how we arrived on time so quickly. Violet hasn't even returned from the utilities yet."
Point Right Did you find this article helpful? Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive! ...No one has critique me yet.
Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? :eager: by darkmoon3636 ...Background noise is nice.:)
Reply
:iconmasterplasma:
MasterPlasma Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
My ideas could be new and my writing could be legendary, but so long as I lack the confidence, the world will never see it.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 14, 2015
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing?
Writing is an exercise in opening my eyes, improvement means that I'm seeing a bit more than I used to. I enjoying seeing more.

Point Right What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved?

Because words are an imperfect medium for the human condition, and I am an imperfect medium for words.

Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest?

Getting the focus and message of a piece where I want it tends to be the most difficult for me and is something I'm constantly revisiting in a lot of my unposted writings - storytelling through images is my crutch.

Point Right Look around you, what can you use to help improve in this field?
My readers help me improve by offering insight - they are my most valued resource to countering my weaknesses in having my focus and message right.

Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it?
You should always be looking to experiment - I think that truly fosters the best growth environments. The EP of music is the apotheosis of this, to me. I experiment with techniques and approaches a good bit, but most never find their way out of initial drafts. Often, they're just exercises in futility that I attempt to take a small element from - whether it's something that might work, or something that doesn't. It's good to find both.

Point Right Do you edit, if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?

I usually go through a multiple draft process and continue editing at each stage - sometimes deleting entire sections. When I've 'finished' something, I usually let it sit for a week or so before going over it again and editing it up again before posting. After posting, I often find myself revisiting and reediting - if there's room for improvement, why not explore that space?

Point Right
 Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it?
Fellow admins and members of theWrittenRevolution, readers, and stars such as LiliWrites & SilverInkblot.

Point Right How about you write 50 words right now?
"There are three windows to the soul, each in various states of being;"

said a ragged man standing near to me as I waited on the metro, cane tapping in the ground to startle nearby transiters to attention,
"I may be blind and soon be buried, but I have never had more breath inside me than I do right now."

He took a long, steady breath - puffing his cheeks comically and punctuating his point with a sharp exhale, "Me and that businessman fumbling with his smartphone over there" he said, pointing with a knowing and confidence that only his pale eyes betrayed, 
"we may breathe the same air..." a heavy pause,
"but I'm breathing more of it than he'll ever know; all my windows are open to the world, I can feel existence running through my hair."

And, with that, he stood and tapped off - leaving a trail of breadcrumbs in his wake for the congregation pigeons to follow, and worship.


Point Right Did you find this article helpful?

I relish the insights of the writers who are always first on the tongue when anyone mentions the community's best.

Point Right
 Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive!
Love me some LiliWritesVigilo, ProvenParadox, SilverInkblotAzizrianDaoXrak, ozzla, and thehatterschild for the insights they have given me over the years. I would be far from where I am today if not for them.
And, more recently, an armload of thanks to similar-singularity & Nullibicity for the same. It's an honor to know you all.

:iconthewrittenrevolution: is my writing critique group of choice. Follow the rules; get feedback; apply; learn.

Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be?
I walk as often as I can when I need to go somewhere.
Reply
:iconthehatterschild:
thehatterschild Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Your work is always worth it! :D
Reply
:iconozzla:
ozzla Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015   Writer
Now this would explain the feeling I had that I should check out what's happening on dA! I'm glad that you appreciate my stumbling attempts to articulate what I love about your work, and even more glad to see it in my notifications and read the rest of the musings of your humble self. I don't think anyone's fooled though, there's no way a person as awesome as you can be a mere mortal, but please stay around and don't wander off to wherever legends hang out these days :heart:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
Your stumbling attempts helped me figure things out that made me stumble less, so yes, they were much appreciated! While the amount of food I eat on a regular basis might have many agreeing with you on the 'can't be a mere mortal part', I bleed just like anyone else - (assuming other people don't bleed, right?).
Reply
:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: Thank you, love!
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
You're the coolest, Azi.
Reply
:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No you are!
Reply
:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Professional Writer
i wish i could like this.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
You can, it just involves actually liking it and me discarding any need to be measurably validated and  just comforted in the thought that someone out there might actually like it... or not! ;p
Reply
:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:nod: Some excellent critiquers there for sure. I loved your 50 words too!
Reply
:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
y u so awusm.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
blood doping.
Reply
:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Professional Writer
best answer award
Reply
:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
I don't think that explains everything.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
you'd be surprised...
Reply
:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:giggle:
Reply
:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?

I do edit, but most of it is done in my head. The first draft I put down on paper is not the first draft I narrated in my head. This got me into a lot of trouble with a poetry teacher of mine, who insisted on seeing every step of the writing process. Sorry teach, but we don't all use the same process :P (I got a C in the end by the way).

Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out!

If I really need something worked on, Doc is my go-to guy, as my watchers could tell you :XD: Usually though, it's me editing his stuff; I can be as blunt as I want and he won't take it personally :lol: Something more artists should work on I might add; critique isn't about you, it's about the work. Bad writing is bad writing; it doesn't matter if it's a personal account of the day your beloved dog died. If you're serious about becoming a better artist, you can't let your emotions get in the way.  (Critics, please note that fact isn't a license to be a dickhead.)
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:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:giggle: I suck at taking critique. WHYyyyYyy. But I'm practising. XD
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:iconmadremonte:
Madremonte Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Student General Artist

An absolute wonderful article. :clap:

I am a beginner, but I consider writing a serious craft and I am very committed to learn the art and the techniques. I may not reach the level of the advanced members, but I wish to share meaningful and inspirational work of good quality. I do have to dedicate my time to my study, but I often read articles, and I try to broaden my knowlegde as much as possible. I may not submit as much as I would like to, but I seek out constructive criticism to help me improve, and I very grateful for the kind and helpful community. :)

Editing is essential to the writing process. I may be in the minority, but I like to edit. Yes, it can be tedious at times, but it can also be very fulfilling.

An advice I'd like to share is to trust yourself. It is important to seek out critcism in order to improve, but ultimately you are reponsible for your craft. Your intuition is important as well. :)

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:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:tighthug: That's so true!
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:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Edited Aug 14, 2015
Point Right Why do you write and why do you want to improve your writing?
I write to change people's perceptions of things like mental health and disabilities. I want to create a social change. I want to improve my writing so that it is marketable so that I can build a broad platform from which to make those changes.


Point Right What makes you think you're writing needs to be improved (this might help you identify what your weaknesses are!)
Writing can always be improved! :eager:


Point Right Can you identify where your craft is weakest and where it is strongest (both are equally important to think about!)
I suck at editing, that's why I came to do my degree. I'm committed to working on that. I also need to work on motivation, both for more frequent writing and for reading more variety of works and examining the techniques used in them. (AKA TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE KATE)


Point Right Of the things you'd like to improve, pick one you are interested in exploring and try and find resources to help you. 
Apart from editing my main concern is reading more. Maybe I should join PinkyMcCoversong's book club.


Point Right Are you committed to this? If you are, remind yourself of why this is important to you and decide if you want to actively engage in improving in this area. If not, that's okay too! But think about why not.
SAVE THE CHEERLEADER. SAVE THE WORLD.


Point Right Do you believe that doing something different could help you as a writer? If so, what's in the way of you doing it?
I should experiment with traditional forms more and revisit what they can teach me now my mind is more open to them. I will try participating in kiwi-damnations December Form Challenge depending on my workload at uni.


Point Right Do you edit (not just spelling, grammar and punctuation), if so why? If not, why? Do you have evidence that editing / not editing is the best thing for your work?
I try to but my grades go down if I edit the way they tell me. I'm not sure whats best to do. I think I edit well as I go along but do catch silly mistakes in my readthroughs. Actively seeking out lazy writing has been helping my work.


Point Right Who around you can you rely on for honest feedback if you need it? Look for groups, deviants, teachers, professionals, friends or family, anyone you think would be willing to help you out!
freshprinceoferebor DoloriferousFrost... Clash-Of-The-Titans projecteducate EliteLiterature... I have lots of people on DA that give me feedback too, particularly on things I've done well. I don't have as much feedback on things I'm doing not so well, either in DA or at uni, but :scared: that kinda works for me because I'm a chicken.


Point Right How about you write 50 words right now? It could take mere minutes. Even if you just write 'Oh god kate do shut up, see I wrote something, you happy now?' give it a go? You never know what might be lurking under your conscious annoyance at me begging to be written about Giggle
OMG KATE NO SHUT UP.


Point Right Did you find this article helpful?
Writing it stopped me having panic attacks this past week so YES. :eager:


Point Right Who critiques your work? Why not take a minute now to thank them for their time, or let other deviants know about great groups that are critique positive!
I'm currently working on a big archive list of lit groups and which ones encourage critique etc so for now my minds too muddled to think of which ones work best (I don't know!)


Point Right Do you have any other ways you work to make your writing the best it can be? Share in the comments wouldya!? :eager: by darkmoon3636
Be honest to yourself. Write stream of consciousness then edit it if you have to. Don't expect your writing to look a certain way, there are no rules to follow, understand the rules but then feel free to break them. You're a renegade!
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:iconkiwi-damnation:
kiwi-damnation Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015   Writer
Ooo it'd be amazing to have you try DFC :D
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:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
That Heroes tagline was so genius. I still am not a fan of it, but just the fact that I can associate it with something when I didn't really pay attention to the show speaks to its brilliance. Something from left field, a great line to lede a story.

Your 'writing purpose' aligns so well with how genuinely caring of a person you have been in this community, and I wish you all the luck, Kate, you're awesome.
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:iconpoetryod:
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:tears: Eeps. Thanks sweetie. :rose: Also, yes, it was a great tagline! 
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