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3 Ways To Write A Better Book

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 06/22/23

You might remember hearing about the different purposes of writing in school—to inform, to entertain, to persuade...the list goes on. And even though writing your book is a little (or a lot!) different than writing a book, there are a few strategies that can help improve your writing regardless of the genre you're writing in or the reason you're writing.

We should note, of course, that "better" writing looks different for everyone. Maybe you follow traditional writing conventions to make your story stand out, or maybe your writing style is totally unconventional—your unique style helps make your book yours.

As with all things writing-related, these aren't universal rules that you have to follow. What process one writer finds helpful might make another writer want to jump up from their seat and slam their laptop shut. And that's okay! Experiment with some of these suggestions and see what helps and what doesn't; keep what works!

So, here are a few steps you can take to help your writing!

1. Read your writing out loud.

If you've heard this advice before, you might think it sounds a little silly, especially if you're not writing a children's book. Most readers aren't going to be reading your book aloud, so why should you?

Even if you're not writing a children's book, reading your writing aloud is actually a great way to see how well your writing flows. A sentence that might've sounded great when you first wrote it might sound awkward and clunky when you read it out loud. You're also more likely to notice patterns in your writing this way, and though certain patterns can help you convey a certain mood to your writing, others may be unintentional.

Sometimes when you've been staring at the same paragraph and have read over it a thousand times, you become so familiar with your writing that you don't notice any issues with it. But when you read your writing to yourself, you'll be forced to slow down and analyze your writing from a fresh perspective. It'll be much easier to catch mistakes you didn't see on the page. It's surprising what your ear will pick up on that you might've glossed over otherwise!

2. Know your audience.

You might think that knowing your audience isn't going to really affect the way you write, but this isn't always the case.

Yes, you want to write the book you want to write. Writing a book that you hate just to please an audience sounds pretty miserable, and your distaste for what you're writing will probably come through one way or another!

However, you do want to consider your audience, especially after your first draft. Let yourself write freely on your first draft, and then think about your audience. What conventions do they expect in books like yours? What do you enjoy in books in your genre, and what do you dislike? What can you do to give your ideal reader a satisfying experience while still staying true to your story? Don't be afraid to ask yourself these questions and spend some time researching popular books of the same genre, reading reviews, and understanding what readers want.

3. Don't be afraid to self-edit.

Sometimes, authors are hesitant to start doing edits or making revisions to their book before sending it to a publisher or editor. After all, it's the editor's job to edit...right?

While it's an editor's job to edit and revise manuscripts, we always appreciate a bit of help from you, especially when it comes to what themes you want to come across in your book, major plot points, etc. An editor is there to enhance what's already there and make it shine, so if you don't feel like you're getting your point across, don't be afraid to edit after you've written your first draft!

In fact, most editors will appreciate you spending time editing your manuscript before you send it. This saves time in the publishing process as it prevents editors from having to spend more time than necessary on typos or things you might've been able to catch yourself. Don't worry about catching everything, though—just take a little time and see if there are any simple things you can refine or misspellings you can easily correct.

If you find yourself using these tips, know that it can take some time to get used to them or perfect them! Be patient with yourself, do your research, ask for others' opinions, and keep on writing!

Have you used any of these writing tips before? What other tips do you have for writers (or would you like to hear more about)? Feel free to reach out and let us know; we appreciate hearing from you!

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