Improving your writing skills

1 Time-shifts, flashbacks, disconnected or out of order narrative are also highly refined writing techniques. The confident and bold writer will not allow his audience to become safe and settled in their reading in case the work begins to fall into an all too predictable rut.
2 Similarly, varying the rhythm and pace of your writing is indicative of great control and a deft touch. Each sentence doesn’t have to be the same length. Each paragraph doesn’t have to have an equal number of sentences. Each page doesn’t demand an equal number of paragraphs. Be imaginative in the format of your writing.
3 The plot development or arc of a piece of writing can be an important feature. The level of control showed by the writer can keep the reader entranced as the story or feature moves along heading towards a revelation or the major incident.
4 The end of a piece of a piece of quality writing can do many things. It might leave the reader captivated or emotional. It might shock or surprise. The reader may be puzzled or bewildered. It should definitely leave them wanting to read more of the writer’s work!
5 A good piece of writing should engage with the reader’s mind on an intellectual level in that should not be over-simplistic, sloppy, dull or rehashed.
6 In addition to challenging the reader on a cerebral level, good writing can also appeal directly to the emotions. Not in a mawkish or over-sentimentalised way but in a manner that connects with those raw and intimate feelings that often serve to dictate the actions of any given current reader.
7 It may sound obvious but words are the basic tools of the trade of a good writer. The more telling and powerful an image is allows the reader to become fully immersed in a piece. Good, thoughtful and well crafted vocabulary enriches a piece of writing perhaps more than any other feature.
8 Be aware that your ideas are exactly that. Your own! It is perfectly fine to be influenced by the great writers. A good writer must be careful not to let that admiration spill over into a copying of style or, even worse, plagiarism.
9 In a similar vein, it is important that a writer has self-belief and a confidence in their own ability. Don’t be apologetic. Even the greatest and most successful writers had to start somewhere and the good writer accepts this and steps up to take a shot.
10 As a counter-balance, however, don’t assume everything you have written is worthy of a Pulitzer. The very best writers will be the most self-critical. Analysis of what you have written and a willingness to learn from your mistakes will propel the average writer to a higher status. Therefore, always look to see how your last piece could be improved.