How to make your writing unique

Top Teacher Tips from Chris Curtis


Writing looks easy but, actually, it is really hard. I should know: I have written a book. And, that book took me over a year to write and then over a year to edit.

Writing takes time and that is something we have in the lockdown, now. Here are some of my tips for making your writing better.

Tip 1: Think a bit and then… a bit more.

Don’t write the first thing that comes to mind. Our brains are brilliant and they have loads of ideas. Some of them are good. Some of them are bad. Some of them, strangely, are just from the last show you binge-watched on Netflix. The first idea isn’t best. The first idea is often just an idea among so many. Writers will take their time to sift their brain for ideas. And, they will spot ideas lifted from their favourite shows too!
I tend to spend quite a bit of time thinking when it comes to writing. Often, leave it hours or days before I even start writing. I spend days rolling an idea around my head, thinking and thinking about it. I get inspiration or ideas during that time from conversations, people or things I do and it allows me to play around with the idea or story. Then, when I start writing, I have really explored my story idea or point fully. I don’t miss a step when I then write about it.

Tip 2: Fresh new eyes

We live in world where we are in rush to get things done. When do we want it? We want it now! Writing doesn’t work like that. Taking a break regularly when writing is important. It allows you to distance yourself from your writing. We, often, get too close to a story or writing that we forget what we have actually written. That’s why you don’t notice missing words or a bit that doesn’t make sense.

Professional writers will have an editor. A person paid to read and comment on writing. An editor is invaluable because they ask writers important questions. Do you really mean that? Are you sure this bit is effective? I think you should focus more on this.

Taking a break from writing allows you to distance yourself from the work. You can then be a bit more critical of your work. You need it. Editors make good writing even better.

Tip 3: Read it out.

Yes, some might say that talking to yourself is a bit mad, but actually it is one of the easiest things you can do to make your writing better.
Our ears are fantastic tools for picking up tone and subtleties of meaning. How many times have you picked up the sarcastic tone of your friends or parents?

Pick up your writing and read it out aloud. Does it sound right? Does it sound the way you want it to?
When you read something, you tend to have a voice. That’s how others will read it. Listen to how that voice might sound in the reader’s head.

Tip 4: Look for an interesting angle.

There are no new ideas and stories. What makes writers successful is that they have a new angle on a story or idea. There had been lots of stories about wizards at school before J.K.Rowling but she took a different angle on a familiar story and made it something unique to her.

We are all unique and we all see things from a different angle and perspective. When thinking of writing, think about what new or interesting angle can you write from. What angle would it be interesting to see a story or idea from? Show the world your angle on something. It could be a story, something political, an event and experience. Communicate to the world how it is for you. Writers show us how they see the world.

Good luck.
Chris Curtis

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