The importance of asking questions!

Tips on Becoming a Better Writer shared by Glynis Belec

The importance of asking questions!

In my last post, I shared that I was getting ready for our InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Fall Conference. It was great to reconnect with writer friends and meet some new writers as well. Last week I shared a summary of the conference on the InScribe Writers Online blog. Today I’d like to share some tidbits I picked up in a workshop offered by Glynis Belec. (The quote above is one of the gems she shared.) Here is some advice from Glynis, along with some additional comments from me (in parentheses):

  1. Make sure you read and write daily (This one is still a struggle for me, but I’m writing this post at 6:00 a.m.)
  2. Join writing groups (I belong to InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, The Word Guild, and The Christian PEN)
  3. Use writing prompts (Google “writing prompts” and you’ll find all kinds of interesting inspiration.)
  4. Read your story out loud, record it and listen to it; Get feedback from others
  5. Expand your vocabulary; Use a dictionary and a thesaurus (I’ve switched to using online resources like dictionary.com and thesaurus.com
  6. Re-read books and articles and examine writing structure/words/etc.
  7. Use proper grammar – check out the grammar course from universalclass.com
  8. Watch out for cliches – get a copy of the Dictionary of Cliches
  9. Don’t underestimate the power of the word “said”
  10. Know your audience and focus on them
  11. Edit with a professional
  12. Know who your literary heroes are; Read both historical and contemporary authors
  13. Make good use of your local library
  14. Meet other writers (Attending writers’ conferences and workshops is a great way to do this!)
  15. Write what you know or what you’d like to read – make sure you do your research (I enjoyed sharing some of my early childhood by using the Kalahari Desert for the setting in Cecile’s Christmas Miracle.)
  16. Try different things to find your niche
  17. Focus on how God wants you to tell your story
  18. Focus on the success of your individual story, not on trying to become the next best-seller
  19. Keep an idea book or file
  20. Journal when you are going through something (Glynis shared how her book, Mrs. B Has Cancer, was written using her journal she kept when she was going through cancer.)
  21. Writing needs to be fun too
  22. Make sure you make time to move your body while you’re writing – take breaks often and stretch
  23. Enter every contest you can and ask for feedback every time you can (One of the perks of membership with InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship is monthly contests. These are a lot of fun and you get feedback from other writers.)
  24. When you submit and receive a rejection, don’t take it personally. Your work just doesn’t fit at this time. Did you know Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 123 times?!

Thanks, Glynis for your helpful suggestions on becoming a better writer!