Today’s Writing Tip

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Feed your inner editor by reading others’ work with a critical eye. Often what jumps out is something you do as well. I have had many an “Aha!” moment tripping over something awkward in a story, then realizing I was guilty of the same thing.

I admit that always reading in critique mode has a downside, but when you’re an editor at heart, you can’t help it. I know something is well written when I don’t keep stumbling over things that throw me out of the story. I can’t always tell you what they did right, but I definitely know it worked.

Thus, you can learn a lot from less skilled writers. There are so many typical mistakes such as overuse of adverbs and prepositional phrases, awkward dialog, clumsy flashback transitions, viewpoint swaps, and so forth. When ever something jolts you out of the story, take a few moments to identify exactly why.

On the other hand, reading well-written stories has a more subtle effect. You can become a better writer by osmosis when you familiarize your brain and subconscious with strong writing.