Top 40 Self-training Easy Writing Skills

Self-training Easy Writing Skills: Perhaps you have dreams of becoming the next Great Novelist.

Or maybe you just want to be able to better express your thoughts and ideas more clearly.

Whether you want to improve your writing skills as a creative writer or simply perfect your skills for schoolwork.

You can take some steps to learn how to be a better writer.

Becoming a great writer—or even a good writer—takes practice and knowledge.

But with enough hard work perhaps someday somebody will aspire to be the next you!

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Self-training Easy Writing Skills:
Self-training Easy Writing Skills

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Self-training Easy Writing Skills

1. Use active instead of passive voice.

One of the most common manifestations of bad writing is overuse of the passive voice.

In English, the most basic sentence structure is S-V-O: Subject-Verb-Object.

“The zombie bit the man” is an example of this sentence structure.

The passive voice can cause confusion by putting the object first: “The man was bitten by the zombie.”

It usually requires more words and use of a “to be” verb form.

Which can suck the energy out of your writing.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

2. Learn to avoid these constructions as much as you can.

  • Using the passive voice isn’t always bad. Sometimes there is no clear way to make a statement active, or sometimes you want the lighter touch a passive construction allows. But learn to follow this rule before you start making exceptions.
  • The main exception to this is science writing, which conventionally uses the passive voice to put the emphasis on the results, rather than the researchers (although this is changing, so check the guidelines before you write). For example, “puppies fed spicy dog food were found to have more upset stomachs” puts the emphasis on the finding rather than the person doing the finding.

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3. Use strong words.

Good writing, whether it’s in a novel or a scholarly essay, is precise.

Evocative and spiced with the unexpected.

Finding the right verb or adjective can turn an uninspired sentence into one people will remember and quote for years to come.

Look for words that are as specific as possible.

Try not to repeat the same word over and over unless you are trying to build a rhythm with it.

4. Cut the chaff.

Good writing is simple, clear and direct. You don’t get points for saying in 50 words what could be said in 20.

Or for using multi-syllable words when a short one does just as well.

Good writing is about using the right words, not filling up the page.

It might feel good at first to pack a lot of ideas and details into a single sentence.

But chances are that sentence is just going to be hard to read.

If a phrase doesn’t add anything valuable, just cut it.

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5. Show, don’t tell.

Don’t tell your readers anything that could be shown instead.

Instead of just sitting your readers down for a long exposition explaining a character’s background or a plot-point’s significance.

Try to let the readers discover the same ideas through the words, feelings and actions of your characters.

Especially in fiction, putting this classic piece of writing advice into practice is one of the most powerful lessons a writer can learn.

6. Avoid clichés.

Clichés are phrases, ideas or situations that have been used so often that they’ve lost any impact they once had. 

They’re also usually too general to leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, cutting clichés out of your work will make it better.

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7. Avoid generalizations.

One of the hallmarks of sloppy writing is broad generalizations.

For example, an academic essay might say something like “In modern times, we are more progressive than people a hundred years ago.”

This statement makes a host of unfounded assumptions and doesn’t define important ideas like “progressive.”

8. Be precise and specific.

Whether you’re writing a short story or a scholarly essay.

Steering clear of generalizations and universal statements will improve your writing.

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9. Back up what you say.

Don’t speculate without providing evidence for your assertions.

In creative writing terms, this is similar to the “show, don’t tell” principle.

Don’t just say that without a strong police force society as we know it would break down.

Why is that true? What evidence do you have?

Explaining the thinking behind your statements will allow readers to see that you know what you’re talking about.

It will also help them determine whether they agree with you.

10. Use metaphors and similes with caution.

While a good metaphor or simile can give your writing punch and vigor.

A bad one can make your writing as weak as a baby.

That, by the way, was a weak simile.

Overusing metaphors and similes can also suggest that you aren’t confident with what you’re saying.

And are relying on figures of speech to explain your ideas.

They can also become clichéd really quickly.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

11. Break the rules.

The best writers don’t just follow the rules—they know when and how to break them.

Everything from traditional grammar to the writing advice above is up for grabs if you know a transgression will improve your piece.

The key is that you have to write well enough the rest of the time that it’s clear you are breaking the rule knowingly and on purpose.

  • As with everything, moderation is key.
  • Using one rhetorical question to create a punchy opening can be very effective. Using a string of six rhetorical questions would quickly diminish their effect.
  • Be choosy about when and why you break the rules.

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Self-training Easy Writing Skills

12. Edit, edit, edit.

Editing is one of the most essential parts of writing.

Once you finish a piece of writing, let it sit for a day.

And then read it over with fresh eyes, catching confusing bits or scrapping whole paragraphs—anything to make your piece better.

Then when you are done, give it another read, and another.

  • Some people confuse “editing” with “proofreading.” Both are important, but editing focuses on considering what your content is and how it works. Don’t become so attached to your wording or a particular idea that you aren’t willing to change it if you discover that your ideas would be more clear or effective presented in another way. Proofreading is more technical and catches errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

13. Pick up a good book or ten.

Whether you’re writing the next Great American Novel or a scientific journal article.

Becoming familiar with examples of excellent writing in your genre will help you improve your own writing.

Read and understand the works of great and influential writers.

To learn what is possible with the written word and what readers respond to best.

By immersing yourself in works by good writers.

You will expand your vocabulary, build knowledge, and feed your imagination.

  • Look for different ways of organizing a piece of writing or presenting a narrative.
  • Try comparing different author’s approaches to the same subject to see how they are alike and how they differ.

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14. Map the allusions that run through your culture.

You might not realize it, but books, movies and other media are filled with references and homages to great literature.

By reading some classics, you will build a body of cultural knowledge that will better inform your own writing.

15. Make sure you understand why a classic work is considered great.

It’s possible to read a novel like The Catcher in the Rye and not “get it” or see its value immediately.

If this happens, try reading an essay or two about the piece to learn why it was so influential and effective.

You may discover layers of meaning that you missed.

Understanding what makes great writing great is one of the best ways to grow your own skills.

  • This applies for nonfiction and academic writing too.
  • Take some examples of work by well-respected authors in your field and take them apart.
  • What do they have in common? How do they work? What are they doing that you could do yourself?

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16. Attend the theatre.

Plays were written to be performed.

If you find that you just don’t “get” a work of literature, find a performance of it.

If you can’t find a performance, read the work aloud.

Get yourself into the heads of its characters.

Listen to how the language sounds as you read it.

  • More than a movie ever can be, a theatrical performance is like words come to life, with only the director’s interpretation and the actor’s delivery as filters between the author’s pen and your ears.

17. Read magazines, newspapers, and everything else.

Literature isn’t the only place to get ideas—the real world is filled with fascinating people.

Places and events that will inspire your writerly mind.

A great writer is in touch with the important issues of the day.

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18. Know when to put down your influences.

It happens all the time: you finish an awesome novel.

And it leaves you fired up to get cracking on your own writing.

But when you sit down at your desk, your words come out sounding unoriginal.

Like an imitation of the author you were just reading.

For all you can learn from great writers, you need to be able to develop your own voice.

Learn to cleanse your palate of influences with a free writing exercise.

A review of your past works, or even just a meditative jog.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

19. Buy a notebook.

Not just any notebook, but a good sturdy one you can take with you anywhere.

Ideas happen anywhere, and you want to be able to capture those oft-fleeting ideas.

Before they escape you like that dream you had the other night about…um…it was…uh…well.

It was really good at the time!

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Self-training Easy Writing Skills

20. Write down any ideas that come to you.

Titles, subtitles, topics, characters, situations, phrases, metaphors—write down anything that will spark your imagination later when you’re ready.

  • If you don’t feel creatively inspired, practice taking notes about situations.
  • Write down the way people work at a coffee shop. Note how the sunlight strikes your desk in the late afternoon. Paying attention to concrete details will help you be a better writer, whether you’re writing poetry or a newspaper article.

21. Fill up your notebook and keep going.

When you finish a notebook, put a label on it with the date range and any general notes.

So you can refer back to it when you need a creative kick in the pants.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

22. Join a writing workshop.

One of the best ways to improve your writing.

and stay motivated is to talk with others and get feedback on your work.

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23. Find a local or online writing group.

In these groups members usually read each other’s writing and discuss what they liked, didn’t like and how a piece might be improved.

You may find that offering feedback, as well as receiving it.

Helps you learn valuable lessons to build your skills.

  • Workshops aren’t just for creative writers! Academic writing can also be improved by having friends or colleagues look at it.
  • Working with others also encourages you to share your ideas with others and listen to theirs.

24. Write every day.

Keep a diary, mail a pen pal, or just set aside an hour or so for free writing.

Just pick a topic and start writing. The topic itself doesn’t matter—the idea is to write.

And write. And write some more.

Writing is a skill that takes practice, and it’s a muscle that you can strengthen and nourish with the right training.

25. Pick a topic and lay out a general arc for your story.

It doesn’t have to be complex, just a way to get your head around the direction of the plot.

For example, that classic Hollywood story line: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back again. (The chase scenes are added later.)

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26. Write an outline.

It can be tempting to just start writing and try to figure out twists and turns of your plot as you go along.

Don’t do it! Even a simple outline will help you see the big picture and save you hours of rewriting.

Start with a basic arc and expand section by section.

Flesh out your story, populating it with at least the main characters, locations, time period, and mood.

  • When you have part of an outline that will take more than a few words to describe.
  • Create a sub-outline to break that section into manageable parts.

27. Keep some space in your story outline to add characters, and what makes them who they are.

Give each of them a little story of their own, and even if you don’t add that info into your story.

It will give a sense of how your character might act in a given situation.

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28. Don’t be afraid to hop around.

If you suddenly have a brilliant idea about how to resolve a situation near the end.

But you’re still on Chapter 1, write it down! Never let an idea go to waste.

29. Write the first draft.

You’re now ready to start your “sloppy copy,” otherwise known as your first draft!

Using your outline, flesh out the characters and the narrative.

  • Don’t let yourself get bogged down here. It’s not crucial to find exactly the perfect word when you’re drafting. It’s much more important to get all your ideas out so you can tinker with them.

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30. Let your story guide you.

Let your story have its say, and you may find yourself heading in unexpected, but very interesting directions.

You’re still the director, but stay open to inspiration.

  • You’ll find that if you’ve thought sufficiently about who your characters are, what they want, and why they want it, they’ll guide how you write.

31. Finish your first draft.

Don’t get caught up in fine tuning things yet, just let the story play out on paper.

If you realize 2/3 of the way through the story that a character is really the Ambassador to India.

Make a note, and finish the story with her as the Ambassador.

Don’t go back and start re-writing her part till you’re done with the first draft.

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Self-training Easy Writing Skills

32. Write it again.

First draft, remember? Now you get to write it from the beginning.

This time knowing all the details of your story that will make your characters much more real and believable.

Now you know why he’s on that airplane, and why she is dressed like a punk.

33. Write it through to the end.

By the time you are done with the second draft.

You will have all the information about your story, your characters, the main plot, and the subplots defined.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

34. Read and share your story.

Now that you’ve finished the second draft, it’s time to read it—dispassionately, if possible.

So that you can at least try to be objective.

Share it with a couple trusted friends whose opinions you respect.

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35. Write the final draft.

Armed with notes from your reading the story, plus notes of your friends or publishers.

Go through your story one more time, finalizing as you go.

Tie up loose ends, resolve conflicts, eliminate any characters that do not add to the story.

  • Practice makes perfect. Try to write as much as you can.

36. Try to go with the flow and let it all out.

But don’t try too hard, because if you do so, your sensory details or added thoughts will seem heavy.

Keep in mind how you feel when you read writing and avoid the things you find annoying.

If you’ve just read a novel that you thoroughly enjoyed and it has you ready to write, don’t abbreviate what they did.
Try refreshing your mind, and sit down to write again once you’re ready.

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37. Don’t be distraught by your first draft.

They’re almost always not that good. When you read it, keep that in mind and edit ruthlessly!

Write with a pencil. If you make a mistake, you can use the eraser on your pencil to correct yourself.

38.Writing should be fun.

Or it should be torture. Depends on whom you ask.

It can leave you feeling revved up, or exhausted.

There is no one correct way to write or feel about your writing. Find your own style.

If you don’t like an idea at first, still try it and it might take you somewhere.

Self-training Easy Writing Skills

39. Use words with care.

There is no quicker way to sound ignorant than to use a word as the wrong part of speech or in the wrong context.

If you are unsure of a word’s usage, look it up in the dictionary and make sure you understand its meaning and connotations.

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40. Do not plagiarize!

Presenting the words or ideas of others as your own is a serious offense in academics, journalism and fiction.
If you are caught, you can be expelled, fired, sued or blacklisted from further publication.
Just don’t do it.


If you struggle on writing a story on or any fan-fic site, use can download Grammarly to make it clear.

It’s free.

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