The Modern Writer: Becoming a Better Writer

I can’t express how many times I’ve heard the advice: “The best way to become a better writer, is to write more.”

You know what? I would argue that this is only the best way to becoming a better writer if you have someone providing feedback and guiding you along.

I would argue that reading other author’s works and putting what you see into practice would be the best way to learn how to be a better writer. If you’re reading more experienced author’s, you’re going to see how they build worlds and weave their stories. If you’re reading less experienced author’s, you’ll notice where they go wrong and see if you make the same mistakes.

The age of email and ebooks has made this process incredibly inexpensive and very convenient. Just load up your book of choice, and away you go!

But with the advent of the internet and the increasing popularity of writing as a profession, there are other ways to become a better writer.

Taking a class on writing is one of the oldest forms of “author education” there is. Most of your basic English courses at any college are going to help you improve your basic grammar and tighten your grasp on writing the English language.

And as you progress, there are more advances courses, focusing on a specific area of being an author. “Introduction to Fiction”, “Creative Writing: Fiction”, and “Introduction to the Novel” are just a few classes offered at the university that I’m attending. All of these class give you a chance to work on a particular aspect of your writing and receive feedback from your peers and from instructors.

Finally, there is the truly modern method of learning: the internet. Search the internet for “Writing Classes Online” and you’ll be looking through search results for days. Get on YouTube and do the same and you’ll find video after video of people talking about how to become a better writer.

Brandon Sanderson has a channel that puts up all of his lectures from BYU on writing fantasy, including many sessions in which he discusses the business side of being a writer. (LINK) I highly recommend watching at least a few of these if you get the time. And if you’re more of an auditory learner, there are podcasts galore that discuss writing both as an artform and as a business.

So if you want to become a better author, as a Modern Writer there are so many tools available to you. Go use them!

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One comment on “The Modern Writer: Becoming a Better Writer

  1. I’ve been rethinking some of my views on how to study the craft. I’ve always heard that to improve one’s writing, the best way is to read more. Today’s king of screams, Stephen King, has even been quoted as saying something to this effect.

    But the problem I’m having with this is that if you study most modern writers, you are basing your improvement on their talent and the efforts of their editors.

    I do agree with the thoughts you’re sharing here. It is vitally important that if you are going to write, you need to at least have some kind of training and/or understanding of the language you’re writing in.

    I’ve never cared for the advice you mentioned in the beginning of your article; “The best way to become a better writer, is to write more.” I don’t agree that it makes one a better writer. A person can be a shoddy writer and punt a dozen books into the system, but if they don’t have a basic understanding of the language or the desire to improve… Well, I think you get the point.

    I do think that writing more helps to strengthen one’s writing ‘voice’, or style. The more we write, the more confident we are in our own work and it does show. I’ve read a few good stories by writers whom English was their second language, but it’s hard for me to return to a story (no matter how good it is) if it reads this way.

    To close my point, and in agreeance to what your article proposes, I have to say that one should always strive to improve their craft as WELL as their writing. In my mind, anyone can be a writer. There’s no challenge in writing, other than making one’s self sit down long enough to do it. But to be an author, you have to work at not only writing your story, but making your writing better as well.

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