Nobody is born an excellent writer. Even the likes of Shakespeare and Dickens would have had to practice and redraft their works before they resembled anything that would go on to make the great impression upon the literary world as they did. From sci-fi to fantasy, historical epics to informative encyclopaedias, every piece of work is different. Beginning to write can seem daunting at first, no matter which type of writing you’re hoping to create.
There are many different reasons you might be interested in improving your writing in English. Whether you are an aspiring author, or you simply need to brush up on your skills to pass an English test, there are ways to begin to improve your writing talents straight away. Here are a few tips on how to improve your writing skills in English.
Practice, practice, practice
The importance of practice cannot be underestimated. Every single book published today will have had to go through a process of drafting, rewriting and editing. Nobody writes a bestseller - or a perfect piece of work - the first time around. To help you get to grips with your own unique style, you should try writing about different topics every day in your spare time. Simply pick something you are interested in and experiment with writing short stories or descriptions based around that topic. This will gradually improve your writing skills and grammar, whilst helping you to fine-tune the specific way you write.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You might have a friend that is a good writer, or that you think has a firmer grasp on the English language than you do. If this is the case, don’t be scared to ask them for help with your writing. Having another person look through your work will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and generate new ideas. They also might be able to find any mistakes that you have overlooked and suggest how to improve it.
The best writers are usually also big readers. Pick some books from different genres and pay attention to the word choice and sentence structure. Reading will also help you to increase your vocabulary, which can only be a good thing when it comes to the levels of calibre and sophistication of your writing. If classics aren’t your thing, don’t feel like you have to stick to these kinds of books, it’s better to pick something you are interested in.
Take a class
Whilst a lot of people might find it a little embarrassing to share their writing with a classroom full of strangers, if you can get over this hurdle it can be extremely beneficial. Joining a writing workshop or enrolling yourself in an evening class can be a lot of fun; you’ll get to listen to the feedback of the group, whilst meeting likeminded people who may also be potential friends.
Planning is key
Giving your writing an outline is important, very few writers create comprehensive pieces of work without planning them out beforehand. Making a plan will help you to structure your writing, get all of your ideas down in one place, and break down the different sections or chapters. By breaking them down into small manageable pieces, you are less likely to find yourself stuck a few paragraphs in.
If you’re looking to improve your writing skills in English, particularly for the IELTS test, take a look at some top tips in our previous blog post.