- Do not use the word just in your work. It sounds like an apology and belittles the statement, emotion or the meaning of the work. Check for ‘just’ in your MS and then take them out and notice how confident your writing becomes.
- Do not use contractions unless it’s in dialogue. e.g You’re, what’s, how’s.
- Read what you wrote the day before, before you start today. Get into the story, and then edit and correct or discard.
- Read your work aloud to find the mistakes and repetitions. Use a voiceover accent to give it some personality, as this will help you find the rhythm and tone.
- Don’t judge when you write. Tell someone the story. Choose your perfect reader then write for them.
- Read for enjoyment and read for inspiration. There is nothing like a visit to a bookshop to inspire me to write.
- Dump the word that. Honestly, please take it out and read your work aloud. See?
- Try to write saying the most with the least words. This is brevity. Make each word count.
- Following from my previous point, learn new words. Look words up. Read about etymology. Become a word nerd. According to the Oxford dictionary, there are approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand words in the English language. Know your tools. Refresh, learn, rinse, repeat.
- Learn humility, tenacity and do not read your reviews. Nothing good will come of this, I promise you.