YA: How do you improve your writing skills?

There was a recent question on Yahoo! Answers that I found interesting and decided to respond. The question was, as the title of this post suggests, How do you improve your writing skills? The content below has been copied in it’s entirety, verbatim – grammar mistakes, emoticons and all.

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
You must know that the most common answer will be 


Image via Wikipedia

“Practice, practice, practice!”
For which many popular authors recommend.And I must agree with others here that reading is indeed a very helpful tool inimproving your writing skills. Reading (especially with classics, and very wide range of genres and levels) exposes you to different types of writing, and expands your vocabulary.

But what can you do on the net?
A really common practice is “Fan Fiction.” Do you like any particular book series, movie, etc. especially well? Maybe you didn’t like the ending, or though it’d be good if a certain part changed. What about what happens after the movie or book? If there’s nothing else following in the series – you never really find out. That’s where your imagination comes in. Answer these questions with your own alternate story. Then post it on a forum or website that encourages the writing of Fan Fiction (4Kids TV, even though it’s typically a kids site, is abundant with teenagers and adults willing to read and critique fan fiction. There are also sites solely dedicated to writing and critiquing fan fiction. Just look around!) You’ll get feedback on your writing and be able to improve it. Just be ready for constructive criticism. If you receive insults, rather than polite criticism, go to another community where standards of members are much higher.

So far we’ve covered… (oh I feel like a text book. x_x)
1. The Common Answer (Practice!)
2. Read for Experience
3. The Constructive Improvement of Fan Fiction

Another possibility would be to start a blog.
I have a Word Press blog where I’ve joined the Post-a-Day challenge, which ultimately challenges bloggers to make a post for every day of 2011, not one day left out. There’s also Post-a-Week which challenges bloggers to make at least one post or more every week of 2011. My point being: that’s A LOT of writing. It also challenges you to think outside the box, and provides constructive criticism (though sometimes spam too.    -_-‘ Though luckily it’s filtered out) for your writing improvement!

Blogging is a highly recommended source for tuning those writing skills of yours!

So far we’ve covered… (still feeling like a text book.)
1. The Common Answer (Practice!)
2. Read for Experience
3. The Constructive Improvement of Fan Fiction
4. The Blogging World of Improvement

If the previous commentary has been helpful, let me know in the “Additional Information” section of your question. Otherwise I’ll stop here. =P

From one writer to another – I hope this helps! It’s sure helped me over the years, and I’ve gotten way better because of all this.

Posted on 01/24/2011, in Informative, Literary Focus, Post-A-Day {2011}, Tutorials & How To's, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. This made me smile. “Emoticons and all” haha

  2. Oh, glad someone other than me noticed fanfiction can actually be good for your writing!

    • Fan fiction is terrific! It can even get you thinking more than creative writing.
      Thanks for the comment!

      • Yes, I think it can let you concentrate on other areas of your writing without worrying about inventing new characters, and also help you stay consistent with characterization because you don’t want to change the characters you’re writing about. Very good practice!

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