Improve Your Writing


Begin with a grabber sentence

Find the point in your story that will inspire the reader to stay with it.

Show, don’t tell

Tell: She was very tall.

Show: She was the only one in the room who didn’t need a stool to reach the shelf.

Detail enhances your story

Not: a car: but a chevrolet 

Not: a cup of soup – but a cup of pea soup

Not: she was watching TV – but she was watching CSI

Be generous with your use of the senses

What did it feel like, sound like, look like, taste like, smell like?

Use dialogue

It can keep a story moving and can substitute for narration by filling in necessary facts.

mouse trapTraps

Falling in love with your own words (we all do!).

Do I really NEED that adjective?


No-Nos : hot as hell; crazy as a loon; fat as a pig

Switching tenses in the middle of your story

Is your story in the present – or the past? Keep it there! 

Losing your focus

Can you say, in one sentence what your story is about?

Using redundancies

Have you said the same thing in more than one way?

Painting With Words

Simile- An EXPRESSED comparison of two different things or ideas


Cold as a Buffalo winter

Confusing as a maze

Metaphor – An IMPLIED comparison between two different things or ideas

Cotton-ball sky

Velvet cheeks

Make up your own word pictures without using clichés.

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