Practical Tips for Improving Your Creative Writing | Stephen Haunts | Skillshare

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Practical Tips for Improving Your Creative Writing

teacher avatar Stephen Haunts, Trainer, Public Speaker, Author

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Read, Read, and Read Some More

    • 3. Prepare Your Writing Environment

    • 4. Try Writing in the Morning

    • 5. Don't Worry About Commercial Viability

    • 6. Your First Draft is Not a Book

    • 7. Write Everyday, Even a Journal

    • 8. Turn Off The Internet

    • 9. Creative Writing Tips Introduction

    • 10. Show, Don't Tel

    • 11. Prefer Active Over Passive Voice

    • 12. Select Your Point of View

    • 13. Avoid Filter Words

    • 14. Avoid too Many Adverbs

    • 15. Don't Overuse Dialog Tags

    • 16. Don't Over Descrive Characters and Settings

    • 17. Course Summary

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About This Class

It's amazing what you can do with the twenty-six letters, numbers and a handful of punctuation characters in the English language. With these simple tools, you have an entire world of written communication available to you. You can write fantastic fiction novels, informative non-fiction and entertaining, educational books, that can inspire people around the world.

Like with any set of tool, there are some rules and good practices you can adopt to improve your writing. In this course, you will learn some general writing tips to help the writing process, such as:

  • Critical reading
  • Creating the ideal writing environment
  • How to improve our focus
  • The benefits of journalling

In the second half of the course, you will learn some practical tips that you can apply straight away to give your writing lots of impact. You will learn about:

  • Show. Don't tell
  • Active over passive voice
  • Selecting the best point of view
  • Avoiding filter words
  • Avoiding too many adverbs
  • Overusing dialogue tags
  • Over describing characters and settings

By the time you have finished this short course, you will have all the tools you need to propel your writing to success.

Meet Your Teacher

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Stephen Haunts

Trainer, Public Speaker, Author


Hi, I am Stephen Haunts, a software developer, online trainer, classroom teacher, public speaker, podcaster and author. I have over 25 years of experience as a software developer and a leader working at huge organizations from global banks, financial lenders, healthcare and insurance. 

I am now a freelance trainer, podcaster, and book author. I also travel around the world speaking at many conferences about software development, leadership, and personal soft skills, and I have a passion for helping professionals improve their skills.

I have been teaching online with the Pluralsight platform since 2014, and I am now teaching small skills-based courses here on SkillShare. I hope you enjoy the courses that I post here and I would be grateful if you could fol... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Steven Haunts and welcome to this court on practical tips for improving your creative writing In his course, we're going to use some techniques, help you improve your writing quickly. While the Focus office courses on Creative righted the majority of the techniques. Also very useful for nonfiction business or technical writer. This course he split down into two main sections. The first is general writing tips to help you become a better writer. Then I follow up tapes are more about writing. Specifically, This isn't an exhaustive course on how to write. Instead, my focus is to present the syriza techniques. You can apply quickly to make the most impact your writing by following what I discussing these cause you can elevate your writing a lot to make it much more effective. This course is aimed at anyone that wants to improve their writing by learning a few easy steps. Of course, kind of guarantee that you'll be a great writer. If you follow these tips, your return pros will certainly have more impact. Crazy writing is a pure joy to be able to do. In fact, I'll go as far as saying that it's amazing what you can do. 26 letters, some numbers and a handful of punctuation marks. With these limited war materials, a few rules and guidelines on a whole head of creativity, you can achieve anything you want to in your writing. So with that, let's get started out Looking at some general writing tips in his first section of the course, I want to present use and generalized tips to help you be a better writer. These tips include everything from your writing environments on the time of day that you write for its outlining and preparing to start writing. Just get started about how to read critically to help you improve your writing. 2. Read, Read, and Read Some More: the first piece of advice. If you want to be a riotous to read, read some more and then read again, you should be reading far more than you, right. This could include books in your preferred genres. Such a science fiction, fantasy, romance or anything goes. Also read across genre to including nonfiction books. By reading a lot, you're actually improve your own writing skills as you absorb stories, structured dialogue and writing style from various different writers. Let's take a look at some of the things you should consider. As you read my suggestion. You always have to stop and think about these items, but it's good to have these in the back of your mind as reading other people's work. I'm really thinking about how they have done their work could really help you improve your in writing. The first thing to consider is looking at the point of view that someone is used. This could be either 1st 2nd or third person points of views. We'll be looking at this in more detail in the second half of this course. There's always going out there to identify the points of view for a book. If it's first person, then the book is written from the point of view of the main character, as it is them. The writing this story for second person, the main character was referred to like the main character has someone standing accident. I'm referring to the main character directly. I prefer Person is like you have a floating narrator in the air describing what is going on . A good analogy is like a film camera floating around pointing at and described the action. As it happens, let's things think about his structure of the book while you were reading Try to identify the act structure is a following book, a typical free AC structure. If so, can you identify with my knack, Finishes and the second stars? At what point in the book that these transitions happen are they Every third of the book or 1/4 for AC 1 2/4 for actor in the final quarter is actually another thing to think about Key events in the book Can you spot the inciting incident sends a character off on their quest. What the major hurdles are getting the protagonists way? Is there a midpoint turn or plots? Mr Happens in the book that turns a plot on its head. Brooke structures can be a complicated thing to wear accounts. If you cast a critical eye to the books you are reading on, identifying the offers intense can be a fantastic way to train yourself in the art of storytelling. Next thing. To pay attention to what the characters in the book, How do the particulars and the main antagonise act? How does he often described him? Do you get lots of long description of those? Your for drip feed hints to you as the book progresses. How do the characters talk with their dialogue? Does it feel natural? Did he use a lot of slang or local colloquialisms? Do you enjoy generations style? What does it feel? Forced? Sometimes you can learn just as much from books have fairly wooden characters and a natural sounding dialogue. Another aspect to think about the characters wants and needs. And however characters or stopping them from getting their needs by understanding what character actually once compared to what they need and how the other characters in sphere of those needs. Then you get conflict, his conflict that makes for a much more engaging book, and it adds interest. If the protagonist gets what they want easily, then you have a boring book. It's also an unrealistic books. We seldom get everything we want so easily. The next item to keep in mind reading is the pacing of this story or writing. When I read a fiction book, I visualize the scenes as a scene in the film. I try to think about what Paces story is moving at. Naturally, a book tends to work a different pace to a film, but I do find the visualization helps me, if you're planning on watching a novel and reading similar work, really help you work out the pace for your book across the various acts and scenes that play out. Nice thing to think about reading is the writing style of the offer. We'll have a different creative voice when writing this could be funds Try and break down. For example, J. K. Rowling has quite a distinctive written voice extract writing very recognizable as to someone like in your game, and by observing off office styles, you can really help you develop your own written style and voice the timeliness of a book is another factor to think about by the something doesn't book feel out of date? For some reason, what does it feel like? It was written yesterday, even though it's very old. As an example, take a typical Charles Dickens's book. These were written a very long time ago, but I still feel fresh and captured a feeling of a particular time in history, as does the dystopian book. Like A Brave New World, it was written in the 19 thirties. It still feels fresh to read it today. One way a book my age itself is by referring to too many brand names, are making too many pop culture references. For example, if one of the characters is using an apple iPad and that makes a call with the iPhone seven , this could really make a book fill out of date in the future. Also, making references to particular bands or pop groups could have the same effect. Take a critical look at the books you are reading, trying to work out what they feel dated or timeless. Why does it feel dated? Why does it feel timeless and fresh? Of course, it doesn't mean you can't always reference bands in pop culture. If you're writing or reading a book that is based in the 19 eighties did not make sense. A reference some of these things we need to cast a critical eye to the timeliness of your writing. The next thing to think about when reading a book to see if the order has mix genres. Typically, novels could be put into a single main Jonah. Such romance, horror, science fiction or fantasy is examples. They can also get books across Chalmers, but you could have a horror book that is also a romance or science fiction story that is also a thriller. When you read a book, ever think about the genre just to put crush on me? What do you think? The main dominant genre is somewhat, It's a subject the final item I believe you should consider when reading enough for any hidden meanings in the text. Can you identify subject or hidden story lurking within the main plot lines? Can you identify an ulterior motive from the characters in the book? It's these hidden meanings and character motives to give the books of death make them interesting, unless two dimensional 3. Prepare Your Writing Environment: you're working. Environment is a very important place when it comes to write him. If you're in a saints and we spent a lot of the time in solitude pouring your force out onto the page, everyone will have a different approach. Their working environments. Some may like a tidy room with a minimal desk with nothing Connie. But the absolute basics I was may prefer a messy a desk with lots of what Pearson like clutter, but to them, then exactly where everything is. Some may not like a desk at home that's all prefer to write out in coffee shops. There is no right answer, but it is important to find what works for you when you were writing. You'll be spending a lot of time there on your own thinking. Make the space what you want and keep any outside influence away from your work area, and it's creating environment that inspires you and you alone. 4. Try Writing in the Morning: When you've had a good night's sleep, your brain is more alert, enables concentrates. Good concentration is key to creative item. They didn't really need to be able to do the physical active item. But you also need to be able to think about what you're writing. Creative writing is just that creative. 80% of the processes you think in unusual imagination. The rest is physical. Type him, but lots of people myself included. The morning could be the most productive time to think and write Rome, working on creative writing projects or non fiction projects. Attend to write in the morning and saved the afternoon. More mundane business activities like doing the accounts or answering email. I sure you get a good night's sleep rising early and focus it because sometimes do your best work. Of course, his mind off it. Everyone. I know plenty of people that more night owls, but try writing in the morning when the house is quiet and your mind is rested. You'll be surprised at just how productive you could bay 5. Don't Worry About Commercial Viability: if one has different reasons for wanting to write. For some people issues something that you have to do, you were born to write for others. They lift the dream of writing that book that is going to propel them into the big time. I. J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter. Due to that hunger for success, it might make you try to deliberately write a story that you think has commercial appeal. It could make you compromise. Your thinking is you're trying to chase an idea that fills a common market trend. Trends change in publishing fairly quickly. So if you went with that tactic of choosing popular genres and ideas, then that idea might have already fallen out of favor. By the time you're finished writing, found a publisher and got ready to publish, the best advice here is just to write what you want. Don't compromise your vision to fit a particular market fit. Your work almost definitely suffer for it in the long run 6. Your First Draft is Not a Book: when you finish typing that final line of a novel hit Save, it's a great feeling. It's also a huge accomplishment because writing a book is a monumental achievement, it can be tempting. At that point you're finished and then think about sharing or release in the book. The truth is, though, that finishing your first draft is just the first stage in the process to writing a book. It's the first stage of many revisions that lead you to the launch of your book. Don't be tempted to just release the manuscript to a second and third revision of your book , then get someone else a jacket. Prefer be an editor or copy editor. Having another set of eyes Look at your book is essential to making sure that the writing is robust enough to release. 7. Write Everyday, Even a Journal: If you're writing a novel or even a nonfiction book, you may not be writing every day, especially when you are researching or outlining a book on the days you're not writing. You can be a great idea to keep a journal, whether online or in physical notebook. By keeping a journal, you're forcing yourself to write something every day. This is like exercising. The more you do, the better you get at it. And it's ultimately helped to improve your writing. In the long term, no one ever needs to see your journal. You're not writing it to be published unless, of course, that is your goal. But that physical act of writing something, even if it is something small, will pay dividends to your writing skills. 8. Turn Off The Internet: finally, before we move on to the creative fighting tips. Writing takes a lot of concentration this modern day and age. We have distractions everywhere, especially on the computer or laptop. They were writing them. The Internet, while some amazing service, is also brilliant to pulling away our attention and focus more more websites, a cuddly designed to grab our attention, and it stops us from being able to write. If you can try the sloping WiFi on your laptop, I work him. It doesn't have to be able day. Just try for now, to start with, turn off the Internet and really focus for the hour right as much as you can. Then as a little reward. Tony Internet Back on and go. What shows Videos on YouTube Focus is very hard these days, and it is easier than ever. It's used the Internet to help us procrastinate, to try getting into the habit of turning off the Internet so you can focus and produce your best work. But its next section of the course on to take a look at some practical creative writing tips 9. Creative Writing Tips Introduction: there may be more books and articles out there on how to be a great writer. Then there are writers. You have time to read them. Whether you are a graduate student majoring in literary skills, a journalist, a seasoned wordsmith, what is starting out you needed struck with flying to plenty of great hints and tips to get you started. It's almost a bit overwhelming, and that's okay. You are building your own style, and even if you only take one piece of learning away from any activity, are still one piece more than you have before. So lay your foundations with any number of books or courses like this one on the basics. It can't hurt. In this section of the course. We're going to cover seven of the most useful tools that will accelerate your writing skills. They are show don't tell, prefer active over passive voice. Select your viewpoints. Avoid filter words, avoid too many anf herbs. Don't overuse dialogue tags and don't over describe characters and settings. So let's not get started with show. Don't tell 10. Show, Don't Tel: people are to think themselves our imaginations a richer than we realize. So being given the space to fill in the blanks gives the reader a full of experience. As a writer. It can be easy to make the mistake of slipping into explaining everything to your readers, telling them what is unfolding in your story. But the best pieces of writing assumed the reader is able to pick up on social cues century details on actions, much the same as they would in real life. Picture if you will. Your day being narrated by Morgan Freeman. As amazing as that sounds, after a while, it was start to interfere with what is organically going on. Instead of having action unsold while you explain it, simply less, it unfold is an example. The 1st 1 is a telling example where we're telling the reader what's going on. So Stephanie was not feeling well. Now imagine we want to show the reader what's going on. Instead of telling them so an example might be Stephanie. Wake up feeling nauseous and ran to the bathroom. Here's another example. So for the tell, Sean was hungry. It's not right that where we showing that Sean was hungry. We might, right. I shown what passed the fridge. His stomach rumbled loudly. If you're unsure whether you are showing or telling, ask yourself what you are describing. What can be seen, had felt, smelled or taste? Basically, what can the reader notice for themselves? What picture you're painting with words to tell the toe. Well, actions force or other sentences can be used to lead the reader for the experience to show emotions. Ask yourself, What does a person do when they feel that emotion and describe that? Rather than just saying what the emotion is, You really want your readers to experience a story for themselves. You can also show through dialogue the reader can you for a lot from what is being said or even left unsaid. Controlling the space. Slowing down the action to give more detail, for instance, increases drama, and I asked you to show a lot more. You can skip, tell or quickly handle the less important bits of the story and then focus on the key areas using the show. Mefford showing can take a lot of energy in time, so while we prefer is, he should be kept for special occasions. Much like you. Reserve your best champagne for the toast you can't make. Everything equally is vivid because then we won't know what bits to focus on, and your story may take ages to construct and be able, exhausting to read. It's about getting the important parts to stand outs by very in the pace of method that you use when you show. If you're writing really should be able to easily visualize what is happening and in for facts and feelings, pick up any book you have lying around. Try to identify whether the writer is telling or whether they are showing get familiar of what it looks like. So now we're going to write a few sentences in both styles. So on the screen we have some facts. A boy, a dog on a leash on a walk barking and two dogs fight and create one Tell paragraph. In another show, Power. Trump was in a video. Why give it a try and then was you? Months you have written the toe and show paragraphs. So here's a possible tell paragraph. The boy was walking his dog down the road. It was barking a lot. Another dog came out from a nearby property and attack them. It was a bit like a new snippet, doesn't it? So here's a possible show paragraph. Stop pulling, you noisy thing, the boy said to his dog. He held the leash tied to any sweaty hands is hurt from the noise. His dog was making help, he yelled at the sudden snapping of dog's teeth. He stock started yelping and never doxy, firmly clenching his for So can you tell the difference there? The second paragraph is more sensory dialogue indirectly told you what's happening, and it made for a much more interesting read all together practices so more with some very sets of facts. Do both show and tell for each. It's not a cycle look a fair inactive over passive voice. 11. Prefer Active Over Passive Voice: active voice is clearer and has more impact. Active voice is direct. The subject of the senses should come up first, and it's clear who is doing what. Passive voices, word here and indirect. The subject sits at the end of the sentence. Putting the objects and the action first it requires to read, is a think a little harder about what is actually happening. For me. The Kiss acronym is king. Keep it short and simple, juicy, active voice when possible. We don't want to confuse and complicate. Our ideas were going to be quick and easy for our readers to comprehend some writers. Mistake wording is an indication of intellectual prowess. This is why the ego can destroy good ideas, perhaps in Foster University on craze. When your wordy taxis read by a peer who has the exact same ego profile, you may impress your 20 words where two would have worked. But in reality, nobody is fooled. Long winded writing just tells me that the writer is an amateur. Not that they are clever. So first of all on the screen, you can see some examples of active voice. I ate my lunch. I scratched the cats I enjoyed reading my book. Dogs like chasing bulls. Let's take a look at some passive examples for the same sentences. My lunch was eaten by May. The cats was scratched by me. The book, which I read was enjoyable. Bulls are chased by dogs. You like that? The passive sentences? A pretty clumsy, aren't they? A reason someone may use passive voice. This is divorces subjects from the action slightly, for example, in legalese. When trying to downplay the action, John stabbed the intruder. Sounds more indirect and active on us. Aggressive, perhaps half of them Intruder was stabbed by John. It softens the negative sentence into flex blame. Mistakes were made. Sounds a lot more neutral than we made mistakes. This is something you may often to take politicians using to help them or their actions look a bit better. Active voice is vivid. Helped to read to see what you are describing more in the moment rather than move a feeling that it is after the fact. Okay, this doesn't mean that you won't ever use passive voice. When you want to remove this associate, keep things vague, slow the pace or make the text fuel remote or even intentionally wordy passive voice is perfect for this. Also, when you want to keep the subject anonymous, or perhaps that it is unknown or unimportant, passive voice can be useful or the biscuits were eaten is more neutral unless condemning than John 80 for the biscuits, especially if you don't know that he is actually responsible. If want to tactfully separate the action from the actor or emphasize the action rather than the person doing it, you'd use passive voice. Passive voice can communicate authority to. It's more impersonal and focuses on the action you don't wants. Like swearing is not allowed versus you will not swear you can always tell what voices censuses written him by asking who is doing what if the who is unclear or arrives much later in the sentence with lots of proposition or phrases. You have passive voice. Let's try a simple example. Look at the statements 1 to 5 on the screen and try to determine which ones are active on which ones a passive. You compose a video while you work it out. Let me just read through them. So number one I hardly ever traveled to Spain in the springtime. The flowers make me allergic. Number two. The idea was formed by cross section of industry role players. Number free. When I bathe my cats, she always hates me for days afterwards from before, over the crumbs on my desk and making me feel like it's time to these were cleaning and finally number five. Please make your bed as soon as you get up in the morning, quickly pause the video and see if you can identify which ones active on which ones. A passive. When you resume the video, you can see the ounces, so the active statements have been highlighted in green. So first for number one, I hardly ever traveled to Spain in the springtime. The flowers make me allergic, the number free. When I bathe my cat. She always hates me for days afterwards. Finding number five. Please make your boat as soon as you get up in the morning. The passive statements have been highlighted in yellow to have number two. The idea was formed by a cross section of industry role players and then finally, number four. All the crumbs on my desk and making me feel like it's time to do some cleaning. I spent some time identifying active and passive voice in whatever you read, this practice will really help you internalize a concept. So I said, I'll take a look at selecting your points of view. 12. Select Your Point of View: This is something my seventh grade teacher drummed into my head for about a year. Switching between 1st 2nd and third person is destructing, confusing and erodes the Regis Trust. If you balance between, I think or he thinks and we think, for example, Dorita doesn't know who's doing the talking, I he or way you'll notice that a lot of this course is written. From my point of view, I'm aiming for a personal tone on building a relationship directly review the viewer. This, in turn, builds trust what I'm saying, making clear that they are my own personal forces experiences. I can then switch the second person when given specific instructions on how to do a thing. But consider how you would feel if I suddenly switched on inclusive we it would raise questions. It forced you to include yourself in my opinion, which are being given in the first person along, and you might not be ready for that. I would have distracted you as you scramble to either film or included in authentically or rejected everything cover. Same. The first person points of view. He's when I'm telling a story. Hi, it's a protagonist. I'm also than a writer, and these are my personal experiences and thoughts. Use pronouns like I, me or mine is therefore limited to what I personally know and is filtered through my view of the world. First person is often using fiction on very effectively. Readers understand if the subject is sharing thoughts these are unique to them are not necessarily the whole story or the all the facts. You can be limited, biased or just plain wrong. But the readers could forgive this as you are being given a look at the world of I and all that entails speakers, personality and unique points of view when writing in the first person. What I think about authenticity, vulnerability and honesty make your I even likable in their imperfections or interesting because of them. The second person points of view is when something is shared with you, there's more of a sense of you than I. He's nothing used by attacks explaining something you need to do back nonfiction or how to Manu He's you in your is the main Pronounce it song lyrics often written in the second person as our video games. You are the center of this story writing fiction in the second person is challenging and different. You should try it just for fun. Breaking the 44 is a dramatic technique writers use when suddenly they address the audience . It can be surprising and very effective you've done intentionally to suddenly address to read and pull them in. He's one wave briefly, including the reader. Also, if you're familiar, wave books such as Theme Choose Your Own Adventures on the Fighting fantasy style game books. These are always written in the second person because we're referring to you as the person playing that book or playing this story. The third person limited point of view is more of a she he or it sort of story. It's not me, it's not you, it's them. Their experiences are being related. Is if you from the outside Offstage, the writer is often speaking about one character. The third person, omniscient style is more got like is still about he or she. But the writer knows everything the subjects are thinking and doing and feeling they have four oversight of the main character and indeed, everyone and everything else too. The common pronouns are both forms of faux person are she? He hurt his too much for personal missions can be overwhelming for readers having insights . What everyone is thinking or feeling all the time can be exhausted and slow the pace of the reading. So it needs to be on this year's but also controlled or limited bids to vary the pace. What's a very minor? Too much knowledge destroys the mystery and remove space for the reader to guess what's happening next, effectively dampening the dramatic effect you might want to limit the knowledge to one character in each chapter or seen, You're from fine points of view chapters in a fiction novel where one specific character relates Air Force and actions from their points of view. Then you switch to the next chapter in the next character. In that way, you get to unfold the action for multiple points of view, which makes you more interesting. And the reader feels got like themselves as they know things that some of the characters clearly do not. Next, let's take a look at avoiding filter words 13. Avoid Filter Words: a filter. Word is only worth stands in between the reader in the experience. It's anything that reminds of Ada that are reading Amazing from the world, which are creating with your words. It's almost not looking at the world for a camera lens or filter, and then suddenly seeing the hair on the lens, I think this is an example. While I was standing in the darkened room, I saw my cats crawl her way up my best silk curtains. I know tissues chasing one of my many other cats in a game by reflected a team after this not had to replace all my furnishings. Now look at this example What I'm standing in the darkened room. My cat clawed away at my best silk curtains, chasing one of my many other cats in a game. Too much of this and I would have to replace all my furnishings. Did you notice that by removing the words I saw? I noticed, and I reflected. He made the writing way more immediate riel. The reader can experience events more directly and deeply. You don't need these filter words, is who else you seeing, noticing and reflecting? But the speaker is telling us that nothing is being done twice over. In effect, what it does is distance the reader. It takes him out of the scene. It's repetitive. And boy, by removing these extra and unnecessary word to be sharpen the writing, it becomes less wordy and clumsy. The times You may want to use this as a reflective or slowing technique. It's also used by historians and biographers when they're unsure about what the historical figure actually said or did. For example, Winston Churchill may have felt alone when making so many hard decisions during the war. The words may have felt remove us from the immediate action. It could have been written as Winston Churchill was alone, unless he actually stated that. How do we know other times you want the readers to know something that is happening in a specific way? It could build tension on that story. For example, I saw the mushroom cloud of smoke, gas, fire and death seconds before I heard the boom of the detonation. The report shockwaves flung me to my knees. This works if it becomes important to know what a character hears things or sees as part of building suspense or is an integral part of the action in that case filled two away. The best way to know wherever I feel to wear my stay or go is to ask if it's important to the story or if anything changes when you remove it. Commonly used fields Words include Heard New, Touched, wondered, felt decided. Noticed, reminded, saw spotted. Thoughts Believed, Remembered, looked washed, Seemed sounded like was able to noted, experienced and realized So if you use any of these words in your writing, it could be a warning sign that using too many filter words, so I'll take a look at the overuse of adverbs. 14. Avoid too Many Adverbs: The overuse of adverbs, for me is quite a big sin. I'm not the only one who dislikes him. For example, quite by Stephen King, from his book on writing, The Road to Hell is paved with adverbs. As we know, an adverb describes our modifies, a verb on edge active are not ends in l. Y. Some common adverbs include very really, truly, actually, and extremely. The problem with adverbs is a muddy the water. Like a pontificating professor, they run on and pointlessly mangled sentences that would have been perfectly happy without them. I like simplicity on adverbs are the anti thesis of plain speaking. There are better of Jack sees that could replace the verb and adverb. For example, she ran quickly, verses. She sprinted. He moved softly away from the crib, versus he tiptoed away from the crib. She closed the door loudly. Verses she slammed the door. Showing a read of what is happening is far better than telling them, and adverbs tend to tell. Adverbs tend to tell us too much, using too many words to do it. Now, for example, where the adverb modifies and objective is. It's a very cool spring day instead of is a cold, fresh I see bring day. These are very or really so, so intensified the word it proceeds, but it doesn't buy a drop of this through these words away. Rather, ask yourself what other way it's good to use. Instead, adverbs who used to intensify our words often have the opposite effect for readers. They overuse and weaken the sentence. For example, the child was extremely angry, does not sell us, and anything more than the child was angry. Ive away. We get the picture. A better word might be infuriated or enraged if you have to convey something stronger than me. Anger. Try not to state the obvious, she shouted loudly. Can be replaced with shouted. You know she's being loud because she shouted, This is redundant and the little insulting to the reader. I feel if an adverb is across for your sentence, considered rewriting it. Is there a better vibe you can use or perhaps rewrite the sentence in a showing stone? It may mean use more words. Barton is a much more higher quality and add more impact. Could you show something using imagery or senses or description instead, Another place adverbs. Get my goats, his dialogue attribution! Look at these examples, hope she yelled abjectly. Give that to me, Jack said firmly. You have a funny nose, Jewell said laughingly. You may think I'm being a bit pedantic, but Pat Toomey dialogue attributions into ongoing dialogue, and I might fall asleep. Don't tell me what the character is feeling. Show me with the characters, actions or words. How about these, instead, Help she owed. Can anyone hear me? Give that to me, Jack said, his draw clenching. You have a funny nose, said Jill. Then she laughed. The second set is more direct, more relatable on the reader's still get the message. You can get away with using adverbs if they are necessary, and without them, we simply cannot convey the same meaning. Here's some examples of the good use of backsides. She walked through the forest silently. They had recently seen a child in a blue vest passed by these both for active sentence, and without them, the meaning is lost. But many of my chips I'm not saying never use adverbs, but if you do use, amuse him intentionally and understand what they are adding to your sentence if I had nothing in the bin, they go. We've already touched on dialogue tags. Let's take a more detailed look. 15. Don't Overuse Dialog Tags: in school, you're taught the crack form of writing dialogue in a fairly mechanical way. You know how to construct and punctuate speech bubbles. The teacher gives you a great big red check marks. What knowledge? Your proficiency. She's just happy you're putting commas and quotation marks in the correct place is Finally you have understood house right dialogue. Well, have you? There's a lot more to writing I love than what we were taught at school. One of the biggest blocks of good writing is misused and overused. Dialogue tags, dialogue, tanks link the speech to the speaker and help us to know who is saying what we do need to use a been excess. They can be repetitive and destructive. For example, Take cover! He cried out, Mary, call back where there's nowhere to hide under the car, he yelled at her. Okay, she replied, Whether there is nothing grammatically incorrect, you might find all these tags start grating when your eyes you can move the tax around, putting some of the beginning some in the middle of some of the end of the sentence, and it would definitely help Pace River. But you still run the risk of sounding inauthentic and still till and if all the tags are simply using different versions of the words said Eventually, the most dedicated writer will run out of synonyms, but probably only after the reader has run out of interest. So the tags speak vocalized, voice pronounce cool reply, cry out, yell, whisper, complain, wine, nag, mention, shout and state are all possible. Versions of the words, said, laughed, smiled, frown, sneered, pouted and scowled on on speech based versions have said it should never be used because age are the logical mind and distract the reader. How can you laugh and talk clearly or any of the office? It's not real and not physically possible, so it creates an inconsistency. You can use these words, but it has to be clear that the speaker is frowning, laughing or whatever in between what they are saying. Another example of redundancies using tax together with punctuation. So, for example, on the screen you can see Stop fief, he yelled. De exclamation Point already tells us he is emotional and probably shouting. So they yelled, is overkill. It is an intuitive skills. I have just enough, but not too many tags a good rule of thumb when writing dialogue. A good rule of farming might in dialogue so long as a reader knows who he's speaking, attack is unnecessary. If you have to link the speech to a speaker, your offer options are to either expand the tag to try to make it appear more interesting. What do something completely different with a creative narrative? For example? This is crazy, Jack complained. His forehead, not it. Worryingly here, the writer has expanded the tag by adding adverbs and subordinate clause. This is fine to a point, but you can also become too wordy and capacity of informed. If the dialogue goes on friendly length of time, it runs the risk of using too many. Adverbs are also overloading the reader with too many tags. The better option issues creative narrative between dialogue. This enabled you to keep attacks closer to a show style, but also Lincoln dialogue naturally to a source. So, for example, on the screen, Betty grinned awkwardly, her cheeks like to read chipmunk mounds. The color spread down her neck and disappeared into the top of her dress, and she shifted from foot to foot. I never learned how to read. Charlie rubbed his hands over his face as if trying to wipe away her words. I love you, Betsy. I wish you told me before I could have helped you. No census is the writer. He's not using many tags. Instead, creative narrative is still showing you what is happening. You can infer bet his embarrassment and child is confusion and resistance of the true from what they are doing, as described by the writer, South of dialogue can convey rich meaning and still be impactful. It's not boring, distracting or repetitive when you do need to use attack. Simply using said here and now is quite acceptable. Read is hardly ever see it. It's so conventional and expected, so can provide you with a simple practical ling's about too much sweat not to make you too paranoid, but trying too hard to avoid using Set can have the opposite effect of making a reader focus on your avoidance of the word or loser pace and have no idea who's speaking. At times, you want your reader to know more about the mood of the speech and that's owned the voice so descriptive tag can be a great help again. You want to use your tax intentionally and the ability to use any all of the options that we've already discussed and all the time, keep the end results. The readers experience in mind. It's a fine line, but we practice It will come. Let's take a look over describing characters and settings. 16. Don't Over Descrive Characters and Settings: consider this following passage that are now read, I turn my head towards a dim, light shining tree, my sliding patio door. If I look the other way, I know I see something that I don't want to deal with right now. For what minute? It seems like my reflection in the glass blurs and stretches. My face looks distorted, swelling and humorous, hateful, leering, demonic, even hissing whispers just far enough outside the range of my hearing for me to make out the words a quick shake of my head. I feel dizzy. Know that I am a big green eyes. Small, pale face. Quite normal. Okay, so previous peace sounds very real and descriptive. It's not terrible, but there's nothing happening. Imagine three or four pages is that type of writing, and there's been no real action dialogue or progress, just a bunch of descriptions. If you give you son editor, they will trim it for you. It can be heartbreaking to get back your treasured manuscript of pages upon pages of rich description slashed out by ruthless editor, and it takes a tough, mature and motivated writer to acknowledge that this is indeed an improvement to the text. I need to be open to having your creation surgically ordered to improve the look and function. If you love that piece of descriptions so much and you can't let go of it there safe in a far off, all the other beautiful bitsy love You never know when you might need them later. Room a little bit to go back and read it, loving me from time to time. Writing a piece of a reasonable mix of action, description, exposition and aeration is a challenge. Your intended audience and purpose for the peace will have a lot to do with helping you decide what styles have a place and where, Like everything in writers Armory, it comes back to balance and educated intent description is necessary, but too little is bad and so is too much. You got to know when it is needed and ensure that you don't let your love of words overcome your sensibility of pace, style, tone and tension. So how did you do this? You need to start with a description of your setting. This is so overdone, expected and boy, and that you lose your reader before too long. If a descriptive piece goes on for longer than a paragraph. I begin to feel that I'm looking at an info dump where the writer is literally dumping a bunch of fax over my head because they are too lazy to show me properly in such a case. Why don't I just read a text book about it? Even if the story is about the inner angst of a garden snail, spending five minutes on the glistening Jew Golden sunrise, emerald green stalks and scabrous show of the snow will soon leave your readers yawning. But do a first person narrative. Or first, no narrative, complete with us now has struggled to survive. The conflict of overcoming the garden is poison and the attacking of birds and have something that some people may enjoy. And the readers will get a sense of the state of this now and still the beauty of a morning garden. Well, it's attributes some intelligence to our readers, get in space to make deductions, draw inferences and allow curiosity to build, let them out debt from their own imagination. I know some writers you do not describe their protagonists at all. They leave that up to the reader who will imagine someone far more aligned and in sync with them personally than the writer could ever describe. This may be a bit extremely action movement, progress, tension, drama and conflict. That's what makes her a good story. Some descriptions may still be laid in. Our focus is more on the progress of its how unless on the rich imagery. If you're unsure, consider what the most important details off that page, chapter or paragraph. What does the reader need to know? Can you put keywords into a draft outline and then build on that? This is a good idea anyway, No matter what you are writing to check flow, logic and pace, creating the framework for your storyline, conflicts and characters or the main points you need to cover helps you check whether you have included everything you need. What was that helps you keep focused on the purpose reach part. You are writing, have a nonfiction or fiction and gives you an overview to keep you on track. So if you have your outlined by your side, he bringing yourself back to what the main points are. Can you even decide who shares Watts or how the readers encounter each gem of information as this story progresses, sometimes balance a chapter breakdown, listed my important facts and allotting each fax to a style time. Then I build the writing around. Those fax doesn't limit me. It simply provides a framework for the method, which I could vary if I need to. That way I make sure I have dialogue generation on description you varying amounts in my fictional Latin. You can set your scene or describe your characters in other ways. It's in the details organically unfold through dialogue, narrative and so on. This makes for a far richer experience for the reader. The details you register get foldaway by our readers mines they'll be focusing on. What's happening in the details will be the organic backdrop. If a piece of description is window dressing and doesn't progress the story, it is just pretty. It doesn't really matter to the reader that may sound harsh, and your best friend, mum or school teacher may you and our over its. But most readers will get bored. That needs to be a reason for every sentence. If you tell us your protagonist has a scar or brown eyes from a square draw. It is giving us a vital clue to his character or the story. If not, then we don't need to know. The same is you don't register every detail about the world. We live in a big city, important what we're doing right now. We just need more than window dressing to sustain their interest. They need to see that it is going somewhere and taking him along with it. If you took a descriptive bit away in this story still works. You didn't need it in the first place, in which case lovingly and gently remove it. It's been like a caisson. You also need some actual cake to satisfy your balance with sweetness. 17. Course Summary: there so many long and involved. How Twos On writing. You could almost feel like you'll never know enough that perhaps you are missing out on some vital piece of information that secretly people may be laughing your work behind your back. I've covered my deadly sins. If you pay attention to even just one of them on work, improving that aspect, you have vastly improved your writing. We're not born perfectly competence, walking, talking wave of things that drive him. You'd be crazy to think that you can launch yourself as a writer and get a 100% from the get go. It's a skill that needs to be learned, and only by parking your need for perfection and fears and just giving it a try coming. Improve it. I feel that any effort is good efforts. It's better to write 100 in perfect pieces and stay frozen, never writing anything or fearfully hiding our efforts and never getting any feedback, you need to do the right thing to be able to grow. I don't have consistent exercising of your skills where your achieve mastery. I've heard that to master a skill it takes at least 10 years of conscious application. If you think of all the time we have already spent writing and honing these skills, you're probably already well on that path. You thank your poppy more advancing, you realize, But mastery means regularly writing, opening up to feedback and engaging with various elements of the skill sets, like filtering, adverb, use description, dialogue tags or what various presents itself. You won't get it all in one. Take it bit by beds. Focus on one area, one deadly sin a two time. Allow yourself space, time and room to grow patient and kind to yourself and our feedback but not destruction. And allow your creativity out of the box as much as possible. You will get there. I encourage you to reach out to me for have any questions when he for for resources on how to hone and refine your skills as a writer. If you enjoyed this course, please show is your friends. You have been watching practical tips for improving your creative writing by May Stephen Horns. Thank you very much for watching