How Do You Become a Power Writer?
I discovered a simple formula. I found this method by accident. But all the same it worked for me maybe it will work for you.
To become a power writer, you will need to practice. Practicing this simple method not only improved my writing, it improved my editing too.
Practice is the key. The more you write the easier it will become.
When John first started writing, he worried, if he could write enough words to fill a novel. He has now written four novels.
He soon realized the quality of his writing was more important than the quantity. Quality is what power writing is all about.
Try these six tricks. I think you will quickly see improvement in your writing. Just like I did
- How do you become a power writer?
- What is a power writer?
- How I discovered power writing
- 6 tricks to become a power writer
- Would these tricks work for all my writing?
- You can be a power writer too.
- Try Writing Flash Fiction
- Practice will bring you success
What is Power Writing?
Think about quotes? They are always succinct and to the point. That is what makes them memorable.
To write memorable fiction, you must become a power writer. Which means you must learn to write concise fiction.
Writing succinctly is not easy. In fact, it is very hard.
Naturally we write like we speak. When we speak, we generally use a lot of extra words. Maybe even an “Ah” or “mmm” thrown in.
Power writers have learned to eliminate all those extra, unnecessary words.
Reader’s Digest was asking for personal stories. They wanted 100 words or less. (I think they still do). There was a story I wanted to submit. I quickly realized;
100 words was not much. I would have to trim my story.
First: I wrote the scene.
Second: I considered, what was the most important element in the scene – the event, a turning point, a life lesson, etc.?
Third: What aspect of the characters was important – appearance, relationships, age, passions, attitude, etc.?
Six Tricks To become a Power Writer.
Once the scene was finished, I began trimming.
My object was to use less than 100 words.
These are the things I needed to do.
1.Removed unnecessary ideas or if the idea was repeated, choose the best one to leave in.
2. Take out prepositional phrases that could be removed without damaging the story. If you want to learn more about prepositions, see: Prepositions Can Be Confusing
3. Check for redundant words: Reason why- becomes reason. Perfumed scent – becomes perfumed. Discussion with you –becomes discussion. Reached down becomes reached. For more information about redundant phrases see: 168 Redundant Phrases Which Might Not Seem Redundant
4. I looked at pronouns. Power writing uses names for people, places and things, with short descriptions. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader with bulky descriptions. Make them concise and meaningful.
5. Were the verbs, action verbs, without unnecessary “be-verbs” (have, had, are, were). These be-verbs add to the word count without much benefit. To learn more about how to edit sentences check out our article How You Can Edit Sentences to Write Better.
6. If I had a moral or point to make, I stated it in one, succinct sentence at the end.
I kept trimming, leaving only the heart and soul of the scene. Remember, I needed the story to be 100 words or less.
Of course, absolutely.
In fact, I decided this might be a great idea for any kind of creative writing.
The truth is, I was amazed how this simple exercise helped me write better.
I began to notice those little, unnecessary words in my first draft. I started to remember to name things instead of using pronouns.
It was surprising but I also became more conscious of using action verbs and more powerful words in general. Download a list of ACTION VERBS
I realized that each sentence was important. That strong sentences really do create strong stories.
Obviously, this trick has also improved my editing.
Write a scene or use one you have already written. Now, trim it down. Try to write short concise sentences. Short sentences will quicken the pace and add vigor to your writing. Look at your verbs. Are they strong, active verbs? Think about what you can take out?
Read your story aloud. Does it sound better?
Write another scene. Trim it to 100 words or less. The more you practice, the less trimming you will need. You will become aware of those redundant words, phrases and ideas, just like I did.
Concise writing will add vibrancy to your novel, short story, or screen play.
Try Writing Flash Fiction
Writing Flash fiction is perfect for this exercise. It is challenging, but we have enjoyed the benefits. We hope you will try it. You will discover for yourself how this will help you become a better writer, a more powerful writer.
If you want to try writing very short stories check out: https://flashfictionmagizine.com.
For Flash fiction contests see: https://thejohnfox.com/2016/03/flash-fiction-contest/
Flash fiction is a great way to practice Power Writing.
You may still be skeptical. Look at these few sentences.
Example: Mother had walked to the door and shouted my name.
Better: “George,” mother shouted from the doorway.
Example: She saw a flower beside a decaying log. She reached down and picked the flower.
Better: Sally plucked a purple pansy from beside a decaying log.
Example: He had run his new car into the back of a large truck. The car was totaled.
Better: Sam smashed his new Toyota into a dump truck and totaled it.
Feel the difference? Feel the power? If we can do this with a single sentence think what you can do with a scene or a chapter.
For more ideas about Power Writing see these websites: https://thewritelife.com/5-powerful-writing-techniques/
Practice Will Bring You Success.
Like most ideas presented in our website, this one will take practice. This will focus your awareness.
Eventually you will find yourself observing your writing differently more like a power writer. Your mind has the capacity to make positive changes. You can write wonderful stories. Maybe slowly at first, but with increasing ability and insistence the writer inside you will emerge.
There is something magical in the discovery that you can write well. You can put your thoughts and feelings onto a blank page with power.
With practice, you can become a power writer, and your readers will love you for it.
Remember eventually your words will influence others.
John & Patty
Do you think this idea will help you write better?
To learn more about editing download 27 words to look for When Self Editing and what to do about them