Writing Tips To Improve Your Work – Part 2

Last week we discussed a few tips to help you create a good manuscript.
This week we have more tips to keep you going.

Keep it Simple
Long words, complicated sentences, and off the cuff tags only distract the reader. Don’t force your audience to stop to look up words you’ve written. If you continue to do this, your readers will lose interest, stop reading, and most likely will not pick up another of your works. Your audience wants to be entertained, not feel like they are in school.

Read Your Work Aloud
I cannot stress this enough—reading aloud enables you to check the cadence of your work. If you stumble over the sentence, your readers will as well. If rhyming poetry is what you write, this will enable you to check the rhyme of the poem.

Show Don’t Tell
This is a big one. The one everyone tells you about. What your critique partners will point out.
Often we glaze over how important it is to show something rather than tell the readers and not give them anything to imagine.
Don’t tell us it’s raining hard. Show us instead. The rain pelted off the window and bounced off the sidewalk. It came down so hard and fast, water flooded the streets.

Beta Readers
If you ask for Beta Readers, listen to their advice. If they all have a problem with a sentence or a scene, then you need to change it. Often they will have ideas or suggestions that will make your piece better. Remember, as Staci pointed out, you can have a critique partner that isn’t a writer. Often a reader will notice things a writer will miss. I use a reader as one of my beta readers and as a critique partner.

Don’t Panic
Several times while working on my current WIP, I worried it was utter crap. I stared at the screen and saw nothing good—only additions to my word count.
If you’re like me, don’t panic. Not everything you write will make the final cut. Take a deep breath, save what you have done, and step away. Take a moment to get a drink and compose yourself. Then go back and pick up where you left off. Remember, you will eliminate the unnecessary “crap” in the editing process.


All authors experience writing distractions, need help, and go through periods of self-doubt. This is not uncommon. The key is to find a way to get past what distracts you and keeps you from crafting your masterpiece.

What tips do you use to stay focused and make your work the best it can possibly be. Share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

About Michele Jones

My passions are writing, cooking, and family, and you’ll find a little bit of all of that—and maybe even more—on my pages.


  1. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links |

  2. Great reminders and tips, Michele. I think we all go through those “my writing is crap” especially when we’re entrenched in a WIP. It’s good that, as writers, we know how to move past those hurdles.

    And reading your work aloud is something I think is crucial to catchy discordant words and flow. Excellent advice today!

    • Thanks, Mae. I have caught several things by reading aloud. I also have gone through the my writing is crap phase. It’s important that everyone feel confident in what that write.

  3. More great tips, Michele. I can relate to the last one, especially. Sometimes I think everything I write is crap. Self-doubt was a big factor for my not fulfilling my dream of writing when I was younger. I’m grateful for good friends and fellow authors that helped me overcome those doubts. Still, it’s hard not to let those old feelings sink in.

  4. More great tips. Thanks, Michele.

  5. Thank you for the writing tips and am enjoying learning more. So important to keep analysing our writing. Julie

    • Thanks, Julie. I’m glad that they are helpful to you. You are right, we need to keep analyzing our writing and it is helpful to have someone we can depend on.

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