Anonymous asked: Can you give me some tips on writing? I admire yours, but I feel like mine could be way, way better.
Wow, this is a huge compliment. I’m not sure I’m the best person for this, but I’ll let you know some things that help me.
This is a major step. Just as artists need to sketch before they paint, writers need to plan before they write. It can be in your head if you like, but I prefer to sit down with a song that relates and a notebook, and pencil out the whole plot (even if it’s a one-shot). Write out the basic framework first, and then add more details. And don’t worry if it sounds completely stupid; you’re going to be the only one reading it.
A lot of new writers skip this part, and it’s so crucial. Read through your work really slowly, reading each sentence as a whole. Does it make sense without the surrounding sentences? Does it flow? Are there other words that would make it sound better? I edit my work briefly as I go, and then I do about three edits once it’s finished (which is why writing takes me so long)
It can be really hard to delete a paragraph you just labored over for 20 minutes, but if it’s really just not working, delete the whole thing. Rewrite it in another order, or place it somewhere else. But if you can’t make it work, just let it go.
- Don’t ignore punctuation and grammar.
These are always your friends. Pay attention in English class. If you’re not in school, google ‘grammar’ and I’m sure you’ll find something. Don’t be afraid to use semi-colons, dashes, colons, and parentheses instead of just commas. And please, watch your tense.
When a sentence (or even a whole paragraph) doesn’t seem right to me, but I can’t pinpoint where I went wrong, I highlight it with MS Word’s highlight tool, so it’s all yellow. That way, when I come back to it, I know I’ve spotted something wrong, and hopefully I’ll have the perspective to come up with the solution.
Okay this is a pretty personal one, but italics can really express a lot. They can really put an accent on the part of your sentence you think is the most important.
- Pay attention to your muse.
Sure, 2am might not be the best time to write, but if your ideas are really flowing, get them out. If you dream up a fic while listening to a song, keep listening to that song while you write! And it goes the other way too; if your writing is completely stilted, and you’re just frustrating yourself, take a break.
All writers need to read. It provides inspiration, it refines our grammar and vocabulary, and it freshens our thoughts when we’re at a block. Read everything you can get your hands on, I guarantee you it will transform your writing.