Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#GuestPost - Ten Tips For Becoming A Better Writer By Yasmin Shiraz

Ten Tips For Becoming A Better Writer
By Yasmin Shiraz

1. Commit to reading at least 24 books a year. In 2014, I set a goal to read 100 books in a year. What did I discover? The more I read, the more I wanted to write. And, it immediately improved my writing because I was learning new writing styles by the types of books that I had read.

2. Find 3 writers who you really like and then critique their work identifying why you like them. When I recently completed this exercise, I found myself drawn to Richelle Meade. She wrote the Vampire Academy series. I like her ability to tell a full story while at the same time prompting you to want to find out what happens in the next book.

3. Incorporate some of the styles of your favorite writers into your work. Think of it as imitating Picasso. After reading Richelle Meade’s Vampire Academy novels, I incorporated that kind of storytelling when I wrote the Devious, and Secrets books which are part of the Tisha Ariel Nikkole Series. The style allowed me to complete one story while leaving the audience begging for the next installment.

4. Take a writing class. I’ve taken several writing classes over the years. Writing classes teach you technique but also teach you to see your blindspots. In my first screenwriting class, I learned about making strong opening scenes for my screenplays. It helped me to set a clear tone for my screenplays.

5. Join a writer’s group where you’re able to read other people’s work. Notice the strengths in other people’s writing. Reading the work from strong writers really helped me to become a better writer.

6. Find a good editor to work with who gives constructive criticism and takes some ownership in your work. I’ve worked with at least two great editors in my life.  When the editor is more of a partner than a hired gun, they truly care about the end result.

7. Use writing prompts. Many writers suffer from writers block. I have found that using writing prompts helps to clear blocks. Many free writing prompts are available all over the internet.

8.  Read books on writing like for example: How to build better characters, writing mastery, etc.
If you are struggling in a particular area like writing dialogue, or creating characters, read a book on it. You’d be surprised how much you can learn.

9. Read at least ten books from the NY Times Best Seller list every year. I do not believe that the best books written every year are automatically on the NY Times Best Seller list but a lot of them are. Seeing what is considered ‘the best’ is a great shot in the arm so you can know what to aim for.

10. Get a library card from your local library. Every serious writer needs a library card because writers need to be reading as much as writing and books can be expensive. The more you read, the better you write. 

       Yasmin Shiraz is the author of  more than ten books including the best seller, Exclusive and the American Library Association Award Winning Book, Retaliation. She is a full time screenwriter and author. She actively runs trivia contents, video chats and more on her Facebook page:

More About The Author

Yasmin Shiraz is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. She uses her passion for life to fuel her books, documentaries, speaking engagements and social activities. She’s spoken at over 100 colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools as well as non-profit organizations. 

She’s an award winning Writer/ Director and enjoys producing work on youth and community issues. By day, she’s the President of Still Eye Rise Media and runs the Yasmin Shiraz website.

About The Book

When a teen girl discovers her brother has been shot, she learns  firsthand about loyalty. Should her brother be more loyal to her or the gang members he's so eager to impress?

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1 comment:

  1. Great advice, Yasmin! I'll be sharing this in the aspiring writer groups on Facebook and Google+. Best wishes to you on your new release.