10 Essential Tips to Improve Your Writing Style

Want to write a book? Our proven program, 100 Day Book closes soon. Get the process to finish your book now. Learn more and sign up here.

I have a one-hundred-and-five-page book. It weighs four ounces. The Boston Globe thinks that “No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume.” The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, a treasure trove of wisdom about writing style, is as elemental to a writer as practicing scales is to a pianist.

10 Essential Tips to Improve Your Writing Style

10 Essential Principles of Style

Strunk and White gave us several principles of composition and style. These are my top tips, counting down from ten.

10. Use The Active Voice

The active voice is more direct and forceful.

9. Put Statements in Positive Form

Do not write what is not happening. Write definite assertions.

8. Use Definite, Specific Concrete Language

Words that are general, vague or abstract are unlikely to hold the reader's attention.

7. Write With Nouns and Verbs

Nouns and verbs are preferable to adverbs and adjectives.

6. Avoid The Use of Qualifiers

Rather, very, little, pretty—these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. —Strunk and White

5. Do Not Explain Too Much

The use of adverbs after he said, or she said, is cluttered and annoying. “He said sadly” or “she said triumphantly” is not advisable.

4. Do Not Construct Awkward Adverbs

3. Be Clear

When you write make sure your intent is clear.

2. Revise and Rewrite

Save the original and what you have rewritten. Write, and revise, and be brave to experiment with what you have written.

1. Omit Needless Words

One Elemental Writing Guide

The Elements of Style, in addition to advising on composition and style, has a section on grammar, “Elementary Rules of Usage,” and a chapter on “Misused Words and Expressions.” The book is an excellent reference for writers who want to understand the basic elements of writing. I keep a copy of the 4 oz book in my bag and read it when I am waiting in line at the doctor's office, or waiting for my peas to cook.

Do you have a copy of The Elements of Style? We will be giving away a copy to five randomly selected writers who comment by next Tuesday, January 24.

What is your best advice about writing style? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

For today's practice, you have two choices:

  • Take a section from something you have already written and edit it using one or more of the tips above.
  • Or, write something new using the suggestions listed above. Perhaps your story will be about someone waiting for their peas to cook.

Whichever practice you choose, write for fifteen minutes. When you're done, please share your writing in the comments section and give your fellow writers feedback and encouragement.

Pamela writes stories about art and creativity to help you become the artist you were meant to be. She would love to meet you at pamelahodges.com.

100 Day Book Cover

Closes in . . .

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Want to Write Your Book?

100 Day Book Closes Soon: Sign up for our proven program, 100 Day Book, and get the coaching, training, and accountability you need to finally become an author and finish your book. The program closes soon though, so sign up now.

38 Comments

  1. Erma

    This is “must have” writer’s guideline book that has been essential since I was in high school! Great, precise information in a short book!

    Reply
  2. Federica

    These are some excellent tips, thank you.
    My writing tip (although I think everything has been said already) is: do not overdo it. There is some writing full of uncommon vocabulary taken from a thesaurus and every sentence needs to be ‘poetic’, I have seen it a lot. Using every-day language makes the writing better and more clear.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Thank you Federica,
      A great tip.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
  3. Emma

    I would actually love a copy of The Elements of Style. Thanks for the concise tips and here’s to an awesome 2017!

    Reply
  4. Sierra

    As a writer seeking publication, I’ve found these tips–and more–to be essential. I still have a (albeit worn) guide from high school that assisted my class with writing academic papers, and it’s been a lifesaver even throughout college. Would definitely love to add “The Elements of Style” to my collection!

    Reply
  5. Renee'

    I try to take in every useful tip made available to me. These are all excellent and I would love a copy of The Elements of Style. I tried to implement them in my 15 minute writing below:

    Follow the leader tear drops trail
    down the windshield

    Shadows of the sky weep loudly, rhythmically

    Thunder of a breaking heart reverberates in the silence dwelling deep inside

    Aftershocks flare for years

    An endless trail of watery emotions splashing against the windshield of the
    soul

    Reply
    • Abigail Young

      That is beautiful, Renee’! And so evocative. Every word counts!

      Reply
    • Bruce Carroll

      Something with which we can all relate. Well written.

      Reply
  6. Hope Tsai

    I would love a copy! This post was a perfect way to start my writing in 2017.

    Reply
  7. Jacqueline Gu

    Great post.. Love a copy too to add to my writing books!

    Reply
  8. Jason Bougger

    Great advice. I should print this list out and hang it up. Most of it is already stuff I don’t have too much trouble with, but qualifiers can still be a problem with me, especially when writing non-fiction. “Really” and “Pretty” are my biggest villains.

    Reply
  9. Calista

    My downfall is using qualifiers, but I’m learning to be a ruthless editor. Thank you for the list and opportunity to win a copy of the book.

    Reply
    • Abigail Young

      That’s a great place to start! It seems so natural to say, “That was pretty good” or “He was really very charming” instead of the plain and simple, “That was good” and “He was charming.” I think qualifiers are an excuse to not get creative with word choice, because stripping them out shows how dull some sentences are!

      Reply
      • wyn

        I know the rules, yet I am not convinced about omitting qualifiers. For instance: “That was pretty good” This does not mean it was totally not good nor the opposite. It was so-so or it was fair. I think we need qualifiers for clarification. We just have to use them in moderation.

        Reply
  10. Ken Ferry

    It would appear that neither of the book’s coauthors takes overly positively to diffuse and gilt bloviation. There remains a potentiality, if this writer were to procure suitable access to these authors’ little monograph, it could remain possible to be prevailed upon with regard to their ratiocinations – albeit illiberally.

    Reply
      • Ken Ferry

        Did I miss any?

        Reply
        • Bruce Carroll

          Your penchant for obfuscation befuddles the perquisition of verisimilitude in the subjective ratiocination of the organic individuals who interpret your discourse.

          Reply
    • pirato

      LOL

      Reply
  11. Kathryn LeRoy

    I first encountered this book in my first college composition class. The advice in Elements of Style continues to provide sound advice for good writing. My husband serves as my critic for determining the clarity of my writing. After reading my last piece, he reminded me of at least half of the ten points listed in the article, lamenting, “You made my head spin.” Not a very good sign–#5 caused his discomfort. Thanks for the reminder and sharing the wisdom of a classic book.

    Reply
  12. Abigail Young

    I would love a copy! Can’t believe I don’t own one yet.

    Here’s my practice:
    I heaved the laundry basket out of the way to check the dryer for loose socks. Those things went missing at an alarming rate. Aha! There it was, stuck to the side. A black crew-cut.

    I overturning the basket on the bed and set to sorting, folding, stacking, and stashing. One more task checked off the list. One more mundane activity. One step closer to taking my shoes off and collapsing in front of Poirot reruns.

    Mondays made me fatalistic. This Monday was no different, as Steve had mentioned that we should plan our annual family vacation. Really? Did we have to discuss it? It would be Iowa. It was always Iowa. Cornstalks, flat fields, pigs, cornstalks, windmills, bad food, cornstalks, the occasional tulip, cornstalks. I questioned my choice of corn-on-the-cob for dinner.

    Just because Steve had one million relatives who were still alive and begging to see him and I had no one besides two old uncles in Georgia, we were condemned to a lifetime of two-week expeditions to corn country. Every. Single. Year.

    On my journey back toward the laundry closet, I glimpsed a purple-spotted heel peeking out from beneath the coffee table. Well, that was one sock that would have to wait until next week. I bent to pick it up and noticed it was acting as a bookmark in our picture book of Scotland. I opened it to the page on Inverness.

    There it was: the land of my dreams. Rolling green hills, mysterious castles, lochs sparkling with sunlight or obscured by mist…it was a fairy tale come true.

    A wild thought crossed my brain. What about Scotland? What if we ditched the in-laws this year and got two tickets to Edinburgh International Airport? The idea was too wild. I grabbed the sock and fled.

    Once the mind gives birth to an idea, it’s a hard thing to kill. All day long—as I vacuumed, called a friend, picked the kids up from school, seared steaks—the back of my mind churned. Scotland meant emerald fields, tea shops, ancient ruins—a land I’d never seen but that always lurked in my daydreams.

    Steve came home for dinner, loosened his tie, and took a seat at the table just as the corncobs came out of the microwave. “Steve, I’ve got a thought.”

    “Mmmhmm.” He didn’t look at me, just put his napkin on his lap and reached for a roll.

    “I mean, it’s kind of crazy, but I can’t get over it.”

    “Yeah?”

    I thought I’d better just go for it. “What if we go to Scotland this year?”

    That got his attention. “Scotland? Like, the country? Why?”

    “Well, you have two weeks of vacation, and we’ve never traveled overseas. Wouldn’t it be an adventure?”

    Steve got a look in his eye that said he was debating the pros and cons of having an insane wife. “But, we always see my family in Iowa.”

    I took a bite of steak and rolled it around in my mouth for a moment. “I know, honey, but wouldn’t you like a change?”

    Steve’s eyebrows raised, his lips set in a thin line, and his eyes focused on mine. He was trying to figure out whether or not I was joking. I decided to remove all doubt. “I researched ticket prices. If we leave next Tuesday, we could get two round-trip tickets for $1,300. It’s a great deal.”

    He spat out a mouthful corn. “$1,300? Just to fly?” Maybe he saw something in my eyes then—the look of a woman who has been hunting for socks and wrestling children and paying bills all day (or all year, for seven years). “I mean, I guess…you really want to?”

    “‘Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.’ Mark Twain said that, not me. I think it would be good for us!”

    Steve wiped steak sauce off his lower lip and stared into his lemonade for five minutes. When he looked up, he said, “Do I have to eat haggis?”

    Reply
      • Hazel Carey

        I was taken in with one image following another and short paragraphs that made it clear to read. I would love to know what you made of Scotland…

        Reply
  13. Barbara Neville Johnson

    Go with your gut, edit with a fierce pen.

    Reply
  14. Amanda Boyce

    Such great, clear advice. I think numbers 10 & 8 are my worst enemy. This book has been on my wish list for books on Amazon for a while now. I really need to purchase a copy.

    Reply
  15. Chloee

    Wonderful advice and tips
    ——

    I stared at his protruding chin which seemed naked after he shaved his scrabbly bread. “Jesus, why are you making this so difficult?” He rubbed the dark circles underneath his eyes that seemed to deepen as the day wore on. “Why am I difficult when I’m just stating my opinion?” “You can’t HAVE an opinion on dying, it’s a one way street your body shuts down and you die; there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.” I rapped the rings on my knuckles against the table “Well apparently you can since I am”

    He slammed his bony fist, rattling the black coffee in his mug. “NO YOU CAN’T.” He stuck a knobby finger in my face “You died, your body shut down and now you have to do what every other dead person does and pass!” I stuck my lip out and he stared at me coldly. “Don’t look at me like that, I’m just the messenger, if you got a problem bring it up with my boss.” “Explain to me who your boss is again?” He rubbed his temple together, clearly not having it and looked at me. “Your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I gave out a chuckle that sounded more like steam from a tea kettle. “That’s a laugh and a half.”
    He stood up and leaned across the table. “If you could just shut your egotistical, stubborn, unreasonable mouth for even a millisecond and just listened instead of talking, half the trash that falls out of it wouldn’t even pass your lips.” My eyes narrowed and focused on the microscopic shaving cuts on his face, I could feel the heat rising on my cheeks. “If you could just hear yourself and realize the sheer moronic sentences that come tumbling out of you I’m positive you would never pick arguments again.” I stood up and shoved my face towards his till our noses were almost touching and I could smell the heavy cologne he seemed to engulf himself in every morning.
    “If God wasn’t such an asshole maybe I wouldn’t question everything single thing because honey, when God made me he didn’t just break the mold, he snapped it in half and threw it into Hell before I even had a chance.”

    Reply
    • Sandra D

      I really liked your words, ‘bony fist,’ protruding chin,’ ‘wrapped the rings,’ is a nice alliteration.
      you used two words i saw that ended in ly, scrabbly, and he stared at me coldly.
      Towards the end with the dialogue I thought could be cut a bit to be more powerful.

      You write: If you could just shut your egotistical, stubborn, unreasonable mouth for even a millisecond and just listen instead of talking half the trash that falls out of it wouldn’t pass your lips.”

      Suggestion just so it reads a little faster.: If you could just shut your stubborn, unreasonable mouth for one millisecond, half your trash would never pass your lips.”
      I’d cut sheer from the next sentence too. But overall I really like how powerful and in the moment your writing is!

      Reply
    • Renee'

      I thought your writing was attention grabbing and flowed actively. With each sentence I wanted to get to the next. Your descriptions were palpable. Great job.

      Reply
    • pirato

      Adjectives – too many. Use exclamation marks for emphasis in full sentences or phrases. For single words, use italics. Do not use capital letters for emphasis. Does liquid ‘rattle’? Sometimes it is not clear who is the intiator and who is the responder in dialogue. Content is intriguing all the same.

      Reply
  16. wyn

    I’ve owned those little Struck and White books for many years and think it’s a great idea to give away a few, as intended. I hope it’s to someone who doesn’t have one, rather than someone like me who already has these books. The books are small enough to keep in your computer bag, handbag or just about anywhere you feel the need to put them for reference. I am glad I stumbled upon this discussion, because I haven’t used those books for two or three years. Now, I’ll get them out and read again although I’ve read them many times over. It helps to be reminded of the proper way to punctuate too and that’s in the books. I’m terrible with that and sometimes pay someone to proofread even something short like a poem.

    Reply
  17. EmFairley

    As always, this is great advice. Thank you, Pamela. I’m trying to be more mindful during the first draft phase, but also trying to keep my inner editor at bay. I’m succeeding with the latter for the most part, so will file this away until I’m ready to edit, hopefully in mid March!

    Em xoxo

    Reply
  18. gemma feltovich

    Grains of red sand dug into Liz’s bare feet as she stood, waiting, at the edge of a landlocked Western country.
    It wasn’t exactly a surprise that he was late. Nothing he did could really surprise her anymore, she supposed, considering everything he’d already accomplished. Their current circumstances seemed to dampen everyone’s mood but his– that insufferable, arrogant, loud-mouthed…
    A crack in the air. The humming of electricity waiting to be released. A sudden dark flash, and he appeared in front of her. His crooked smile appeared before the rest of him, as it always did in these showy entrances of his. He could just teleport without all the fuss, but Liz supposed he couldn’t resist the opportunity for lessers to gawk at him and his huge supply of magic.
    He smiled down at her. She stared back up at him, at his light eyes, as she narrowed her own. He looked away first, and she resisted the urge to grin. A brush of hot air rustled the scarf covering her hair. She tucked a coarse black strand back into place, noting the sweat and dust covering her fingers, which were cracked and dry. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d properly bathed.
    “Carro,” she said, her voice lilting.
    “Alsilynn,” he drawled.
    Her bronze eyes narrowed. “Liz. It’s Liz.”
    “Of course.” He took a moment to flick a fleck of dust off his shoulder, clad in a fanciful black tunic. “Now, shall we? I, for one, have somewhere to be, and assuming you haven’t changed your mind…”
    Liz turned away for a moment to swallow a building lump in her throat, then stepped up to Carro, trying and probably failing, given his raised brow, to make the favoring of her left leg unnoticeable, and placed a trembling hand on his arm. Her palm was clammy, his robes annoyingly clean. He flashed her a too-white smile before they tunneled into darkness. She resisted the immediate urge to pull away from him, and clung to his forearm like it was the last thing tying her to life. Which it was, in a certain way. She’d traveled with him and his enormous power before, but it never failed to wrench her stomach straight out of her body, through her throat, as she watched the illusion of random memories flashing by before her. The front porch of her childhood home. Al’kila, her sister’s stuffed animal who she’d gutted in a low moment of lividity. Her twelve-year-old self, stumbling through the jungle with bites on her hands and feet when a woman appeared and saved her. It felt both alluring and sickening, traveling through that mass of shadows, especially with her heightened senses.
    They emerged on the other side, Carro arriving straight on his feet and perfectly put together, Liz tumbling to the ground as she landed on her left foot and retching a bit in the sand. He smirked down at her.
    “Careful, darling,” he said, watching her struggle to her feet without so much as outstretching a hand. She huffed, imagining her eldest sister’s smug smile on his stupid face. Stupid… stupid… whatever. He didn’t care what she thought of him, so why should she?
    They’d landed in the middle of the campground, and many people were gawking. Some were trying not to stare, just bustling about a little slower than normal so as to catch a glimpse out of the corner of their eye, but most were just outright ogling at them.
    “Boo,” Carro whispered, and a few bystanders jumped. The women wore headscarves like Liz’s, though clearly from a different region. Liz wasn’t from anywhere around here– not this country, not this continent. She ran a hand over the blue material covering her hair self-consciously. It was hot out here, in the open air. She couldn’t imagine the people living here inside tents all day, the arid atmosphere trapped inside with nowhere to go, just bathing in their own sweat.
    “Let’s go, bramble bush,” Liz hissed through her teeth at him. Carro waggled his fingers at a young girl, no more than fifteen, hanging clothes to dry outside a dirt-ridden tent. Her eyes widened and she ducked inside, the tent flap falling closed behind her.
    “They’re all scared of me,” Carro remarked. “It’s delicious.” Liz bit back a snide response and kept walking.
    As they made their way through the makeshift dirt streets, she went over the plans in her head. She didn’t realize she was quietly murmuring until he pressed a finger to his lips, hushing her. She huffed and limped over a boulder in her path, coming face to face with a tent larger than any other, its canvas walls flapping in the wind.
    They had arrived.
    Liz took a breath to steel herself, but Carro just ducked inside. She followed soon after. Concealed within the walls of the tent was a thick, wooden table empty of all but one, a figure dressed all in black with her back to them, a scroll spread out in front of her. Liz cleared her throat a bit. The woman turned with a start, and, finding them there, breathed out a sigh of relief.
    “Lady Goultia,” Liz said, outstretching her hand and nodding her head in a gesture of honor. Carro just stared at the Lady. Liz suddenly felt very conscious of her bare feet, and shuffled around.
    “Alsilynn,” the woman replied in acknowledgement. Liz bit back a correction. The people around here didn’t seem inclined to follow nicknames. “And Carro.” Her tone cooled noticeably. “How went your journey?”
    “Fine.” His blue eyes flickered over her face.
    Lady Goultia had smooth brown skin, leafy freckles spread across her cheeks, and slightly parted lips, revealing pearly white teeth. She was tall, with assorted scars crisscrossing her squared shoulders. Her dark hair tumbled down her back in a disarrayed mess. She wore a gown of war. A reminder of what was to come, Liz realized, something rippling down her spine, making her shiver despite the heat.
    “Tranovan’s army marches toward here at an incredible speed,” Lady Goultia began to mutter under her breath, clearly distracted. “If they were to reach here before a day were to pass…”
    “Lady Goultia,” Carro interrupted, “we came to–”
    “I know what you came here to do,” she cut in smoothly, directing her gaze at Liz, who straightened her posture as best she could with her bad ankle. “And you will have quarters with the rest of your guild in the eastern section, if you still would wish.”
    “Yes,” Liz said. She cleared her throat. “We would like preparations for a stay.”
    “Until the battle,” the older woman stated, her calculative eyes flicking toward Carro, who was standing uncomfortably at Liz’s side. “You will be allowed here until the battle, Carro. And you, Alsilynn, you can stay here as long as you wish.”
    Carro’s eyes hardened. “Milady-”
    “I will not have your foolish magic running rampant through my camps.”
    “But you need me,” he protested, his voice dangerously low.
    “You have signed a document pledging your allegiance. I have no need to please you as of the moment.”
    He stood still a moment, their eyes locking, but he eventually nodded his head, albeit stiffly. Liz suddenly became hyperaware of the ever-growing pool of sweat collecting on her upper lip like a persistent moth flocking to a flame.
    “Good. Now, my guard will escort you toward your quarters.” Carro nodded again, then turned around and pushed through the flaps of the tent. Liz followed after him, dipping her head at Lady Goultia as she exited.
    Liz had half a mind to ask Carro what in frozen Hell’s name that performance in there was, but was stopped short as she saw they had company. She settled for glaring at him, seething on the inside.
    A dark-eyed man stood outside the tent waiting for them. He didn’t so much as look at the two, just started walking east.
    Toward where Liz’s guild was.
    Her heart lifted at just the thought of them, even as she took quick steps to keep up with Carro and the expressionless man striding ahead of her. As they hurried away from the Lady’s tent, Liz watched the sun begin to recede beyond the mountains in the distance, smiled gently at children darting out of their tents to watch them, fiddled with the sleeves of her shirt. A knot tightened in her stomach. The next day, Tranovan’s army would descend upon the camps in this valley, and she doubted he would care that children– children, for Gods’ sakes– lived here. Death didn’t discriminate.
    All at once, the breath was knocked out of her as she saw figures emerge from a large tent.
    Trei was smiling at her like crazy, Ferdinand stood gravely with that giant sword at his side, Val was wrapping a frayed piece of twine around her wrist again and again, and Kirie’s dark red hair created a messy halo around her grinning face.
    Liz tried and failed to suppress her own grin. She ran toward them, forgetting completely about Carro and the dark-eyed man behind her, and Trei, wearing dirt-laden common clothing that she was sure Carro was sneering at, wrapped his arms around her. She sucked in a deep breath of his sweaty scent. He whispered, “I missed you.”
    She smiled into his chest. “I missed you, too.”
    Then Kirie was tucking a strand of wild hair behind one ear and exclaiming, “You didn’t die!” She had a persistent tendency to bounce on the heels of her feet whenever she stood in place, though she was the only one who never seemed to notice it.
    Liz shrugged. “I try not to.” The taller, more muscular girl punched her arm playfully and grinned.
    She turned to Ferdinand and Val. “Aren’t you going to say hello?”
    Val suddenly burst into tears, then wrapped her in a fierce embrace. Liz smiled into her coarse, black hair, and murmured, “I love you, Val.” The girl let out a half-laugh, half-sob, and pulled back. She wiped her nose on the sleeve of her shirt.
    Ferdinand shook Liz’s hand, probably the most physical contact any of them but Val would get from him, and said, “Um. Good job.”
    Liz could feel Carro’s eyes on the back of her head, and tried not to turn around. She heard him step forward.
    Everyone looked up at him– he was taller than everyone but Ferdinand, and even he shrunk in his presence. “I already had dinner.” Liz blinked.
    A flicker of a timid smile crossed Kirie’s face, and she told him, “That’s okay.” Then to Liz– “We’re frying fish. My specialty.”
    And so it was that half an hour later, the five of them were sitting in a circle at the edge of the encampment, watching crackling embers disappear into the twilight sky. Liz listened to the conversations in other parts of the camp, listening idly to the talking going on in their little circle. She nibbled at her fish. Trei sat close to her, his hand laying lazily on her thigh, and he laughed at the appropriate times. Val held a scorpion in her hand across the fire, which Ferdinand shied away from. She seemed to be cooing at it.
    Carro was waiting in the tent, and she could hear him shuffling around and muttering something from her spot by the fire.
    Trei’s voice startled her. “What are you listening to?”
    She shrugged, staring into the fire. “Nothing.”
    “Nothing?”
    “Nothing important, Trei. It doesn’t matter.” Trei glanced at Kirie, and Liz could see her shrug out of the corner of her eye.
    She tossed a fish bone behind her, and it landed in the sand, which was rapidly cooling, recovering from the sun’s heat. A young girl was singing softly in a foreign language and strumming a fiddle somewhere, and she focused everything on that.
    Liz was still getting used to her gifts. The way she could hear a pin drop a mile away, the detail of every strand of hair around her. It was overwhelming at times. The others were all years older than her, the second youngest being Trei, who was eighteen. They’d all had years to fit their magic into their everyday lives, and her sixteenth birthday had just passed a couple months ago. Just days, days upon days that passed fast as heartbeats, before she left to scout the Western countries– with Carro.
    He was insufferable about it. He’d laughed whenever she jumped and covered her ears at something or had to sit down to get rid of a headache. He was twenty, had trained his magic for years with some special tutor that his family could afford because they were rich. Liz’s family was… not so fortunate. It was even less fortunate that they’d had her, their seventh child and a magical child nonetheless. They kicked her out once her mother had finally relented and allowed it, when she was twelve. What would they do when she started to grow into her gifts? It wasn’t worth the trouble.
    For a gifted child, magic went through a process of sorts. In their toddler years it was pure magical energy flinging itself at anything nearby or interesting. Then it became connected to their emotions. Liz remembered a time when she’d set her sister’s dress on fire because she wouldn’t let her play with her and her friends– she’d been given a good beating for that. Around the time their bodies began to mature it vanished, reclusing somewhere inside them, until it came back as a specific gift when they were around sixteen. Sometimes children who weren’t very powerful at a young age suddenly had huge magical gifts, and some had little things– Val was good with animals. That was essentially it with her. Kirie was ridiculously athletic, Ferdinand could summon flame (which would have been incredibly destructive when he’d first achieved it, but he never talked about that), and Trei could camouflage into his surroundings like a chameleon. A handsome chameleon with a gorgeous smile.
    Liz was startled out of her reverie when Kirie threw a huge bucket of dirt onto the fire, letting loose a jarring hiss. She yelped, falling from the log she was sitting on before realizing what the sound had been. She could feel her cheeks burning.
    “Liz?” Kirie’s face appeared above her, her green eyes wide. “Are you okay?” Liz didn’t respond, but she knew she was blushing furiously. She tried not to think about where Val’s scorpion from earlier had wandered off to as she lay in the sand.
    “Oh, god. I’m so sorry. I didn’t think about-”
    “I’m okay, Kirie.”
    “I’m so sorry.” She bit her lip and was silent for a moment, then stretched out a hand to help her up. Liz didn’t take it, but sat up and dusted the sand off her pants.
    “I think I’m going to go to bed. Traveling with Carro kind of tired me out.”
    Kirie nodded mutely. Liz could feel eyes on her back as she walked out of the camp.

    Reply
  19. Marie Altenor

    These are indeed great tips and I’m looking forward to putting some of this advise to use. As someone who is trying to get back into writing, these tips are much appreciated.

    Reply
  20. Clara

    Helpful post. Great Work.

    Reply
  21. ErikaDonaghy

    Not quite ready to share my practice here yet. But, I would love a copy of the book!

    Reply
  22. Cristhiane Basoli

    Great tips! I would love a copy of that book! I’ve been struggling with finding my own style and voice, but I will not give up. Thanks a lot for this and all your posts!

    Reply
  23. SPIDY

    That’s indeed some nice advice to keep in our mind while writing! Stephen King once said in his book On Writing,”the road to hell is paved with adverbs”. Again he said, “They’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day … fifty after that … and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are.” So it’s better to watch before even think to use one!

    Reply
  24. Debra Henderson

    I did not know about no starting a sentence with I. Thanks for the tip.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 7 Ways To Refresh Your Business Writing Skills For 2017 | Business Writing School - […] Improve Your Writing: 10 Essential Tips To Improve Your Writing Style […]
  2. ESSENTIAL TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING STYLE…. – How to write a story? - […] What is your best advice about writing style? Let us know in the comments. […]
  3. Dicas para melhorar a forma como você escreve – A arte na escrita - […] Retiradas e adaptadas de the write practice […]
  4. Writing Links Round Up 4/10-4/15 – B. Shaun Smith - […] 10 Essential Tips to Improve Your Writing Style […]
  5. Writing Links Round Up 5/1-5/6 – B. Shaun Smith - […] 10 Essential Tips to Improve Your Writing Style […]
  6. Writing, Editing, & Books – Scribble with Creativity - […] https://thewritepractice.com/writing-style/  […]
  7. The Elements Of Style By William Strunk Jr | | Book Marking - […] Download Image More @ essential tips improve writing style […]
  8. The Elements Of Style Strunk And White | | Book Marking - […] Download Image More @ essential tips improve writing style […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

218
Share to...