Made in America

Three NaNoWriMo Tips to Boost Your Writing Skills

We’re in the midst of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and to help keep you motivated to reach your goal of writing a novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30, we’re offering some helpful tips to boost your writing skills.

Perhaps one of the most important pieces to the novel-writing puzzle is editing, so today’s tips are focused on just that – the editing process.

Let’s get right to it!

Trim it down

Sometimes, authors tend to be verbose. While this isn’t always a bad thing, since we’re living in a world where people skim and read quickly, it’s a good idea to practice trimming down your sentences.

Consider these two sentences: “Every single person should consider owning a dog.” Or “Everyone should consider owning a dog.”

Though the sentences are different, they mean the exact same thing. But the second option is concise and to the point. See how it reads better? Consider reading through your work for sentences that can be shortened but still keep the same meaning.

Shorten your sentences

Much like our first point, cutting a long sentence into shorter sentences is a powerful way to get your point across. Even though your long sentence might be grammatically correct, you could risk losing your reader’s attention – or worse, confusing them. To avoid this, consider breaking your thought into a few cohesive sentences. This will help keep your reader’s maintain their reading cadence as they feverishly flip through the pages of your novel.

Say goodbye to “really” and “very”

Though it may be very hard, it’s a really good idea to use powerful adjectives. Pop quiz: If you read the first sentences of this paragraph again, do “really” and “very” help us get our point across any better? The answer to that question is likely no.

Your words are what keep your readers interested in your story. So make it a point to get into the habit of consolidating your thoughts into strong adjectives:

  • Very big – Massive
  • Really awesome – Tremendous
  • Very strong – Powerful

Keep this advice in mind as you work your way through NaNoWriMo, and stay tuned in the coming weeks for even more helpful tips!

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2016

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