Every writer needs a plethora of skills. It’s not enough to know how to write a compelling story, create a cohesive plot, and bring to life dynamic characters. Writers also need to have knowledge of grammar, style, and mechanics. Elements such as word choice and sentence length can make valuable improvements to your writing. Learning about writing style and mechanics may not sound as interesting as learning about plot and characters, but it is super important.
So, I’m going to share with you my favorite tips to help you improve writing style and mechanics!
The Best Tips to Improve Writing Style and Mechanics
Learn all about dialogue tags and why it is still best to use said. This post suggests three reasons why said is the best dialogue tag. It can be fun to create original, unique dialogue tags, but it’s not worth your time. It’s not the best way to engage your audience. It’s a disservice to your reader.
Word choice is such an important part of a story. And it is a great way for your voice and style to shine through your writing. Before you consider your manuscript done, take a look at your word choice. You might find a few changes to make. Simple changes of word choice can have a powerful impact.
Does your story take advantage of white space? White space is such a good way to break up text, control the pace of your story, increase or decrease the sense of emotion, and make your words more visually appealing. White space is an easy way to add a little oomph to your story. Don’t forget to utilize white space in your writing!
Sentence length is a great tool to improve the style of your writing. It will help you focus on your target audience. A middle grade novel is going to use shorter sentences than a Young Adult or Adult novel. But varying sentence length within your manuscript is also a clever way to improve your writing. If you are writing short sentence after short sentence, or a huge paragraph of long sentences, a little variety will add a fresh feel to your writing.
Should you narrate your story in first person or third? Each narration style will give your story a very different feel, so it’s important to think about the best narrator for your story. Think about what will change if you choose first person over third. Ask yourself which narration style better helps you accomplish the feel and style you want your story to have.
What elements of style and mechanics do you struggle with the most?