By Idrees Patel
Source: Writers Treasure
Started out at creative writing but have no idea what to do next? Don’t worry; it’s very simple to improve your creative writing and grow it to the next level. Everyone has some tips and tricks in his/her sleeve; some work and some don’t. In this post, you will learn:
- 1. Why reading up on grammar, spelling and punctuation is the sign of a good writer
2. The myth of proof reading and editing, and how to debunk it
3. Why your first draft won’t be up to scratch, and why revising works
4. And why getting rid of flowery prose, adverbs and unnecessary adjectives is good
So, without any further ado, here we go!
Read up on Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Before you get offended for me saying such a suggestion, let me elaborate. There are some common misspellings found on the internet; two such lists are found here and here. “It’s and its”, “there and their”, “loose and lose” and so on. So if you make such a common mistake, people will see you as an amateur.
Grammar mistakes are as common as spelling mistakes. Some new school people say go ahead and break the grammar rules. That may be good advice for a few of them (for example, you should break the no sentence ending with a preposition rule and you’re perfectly free to begin a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’ if it appeals to you).
But not all grammar rules were made by stodgy people, and most make sense. If it appeals to you to break them, go ahead, but you must know the reason why you broke it in the first place, and why it wasn’t appropriate. If you don’t know that you broke a rule or why, your credibility goes out of the window.
In the same way, people make punctuation mistakes often without realizing that they did it. The confusion between “me, myself and I”, the improper and incorrect use of the apostrophe (some people have campaigned for its being banned since it causes so much confusion among people) etc has become rapidly larger and larger.
So that is why, if you really want to become a credible writer who is not governed by the rules, go read up on grammar, spelling and punctuation. A single book or two will clear confusions, enable to break rules knowing why you broke them, consciously following sensible rules and more.
Tip: – Don’t rely on Microsoft Word’s Grammar Checker. Its spell check is all right, but the grammar tool is atrocious. Many has been the time that it shows up its infamous green line under my words and calls out for incorrect and so called grammatically correct changes. Have you ever seen a “Fragment (consider revising)” call to change? It’s perfectly all right to ignore that, because you’re not writing a textbook, you’re a creative writer.
Debunk the myth of editing and proof reading
Most creative writers hate the task of editing and proof reading. There are a thousand excuses to avoid it. “It saps my creativity.” “I like my writing as it is.” “I don’t want to correct errors and mistakes.”
Some excuses are pretty funny… I mean, not wanting to correct mistakes! And although some people seem to just hate the words, they’re actually pretty necessary in the world of creative writing.
Proof reading corrects mistakes so that they won’t happen again. You can actually hire a proof reader if you don’t like to edit your own work, but my opinion is that you should at least make a first edit and then hand it to the editor. The editor will suggest changes. Some of them will be for the better, but you won’t like some of them. That’s because everyone has different tastes. If you proof read your own work, you’ll be a better creative writer. How?
Because you’ll see what mistakes you made before, and your brain will know not to do them again. By repeating this process time and time again, you’ll begin to make fewer mistakes and learn more about style and language. By doing this, you are growing your writing to the next level with proof reading.