How to improve your writing style: our 8 tips

writing style

Writing well is within everyone’s reach, with a little work and without trying to imitate the greatest literary authors. Each literary style is unique. To help you find yours, here are some ways to improve your writing style .

If you are looking for ways to improve your writing style, reading is one of the first solutions. By reading literary works of different feathers, you enrich yourself with other styles that can inspire you. But beware: this is about nurturing you rather than becoming a pale copy of an author or author that you appreciate.

It is not necessarily necessary to read only genres similar to those in which you write. On the contrary: broaden your horizons by exploring different universes.

When you read, maintain your pleasure as a reader, but also have an author’s eye. Try to understand how the writer you are reading has built his plot, how he highlights his characters, the way he leads the descriptions…

Enjoy writing the way you want

To write without enjoying it is to take the risk of losing readers. If you force yourself to copy a style, for example, your story will suffer. One of the imperatives for an author is to always have fun writing. Thus, you are freer in your creativity, more inventive.

The perfect writing style does not exist and, above all, it is not universal. According to the Larousse dictionary, style is “the particular way in which everyone expresses their thoughts, emotions and feelings”. The style is therefore personal and each author has his own.

Take part in writing workshops

Are you stuck on writing your novel  because you find your sentences too long? Does your style lack accuracy? Signing up for a writing workshop can help you solve this problem. The fresh and benevolent eye of the person leading the workshop will allow you to point out what is wrong with your writing. His tips will help you improve your writing style .

Either way, don’t be discouraged! Writing well is not (only) a question of talent. Persevere and practice: with a little practice, you will definitely be able to improve your writing . The  Librinova Online Writing Masterclass  , designed by literary coaches and editors, is a great way to find the uniqueness of your writing and improve the quality of your storytelling!

Use the dictionary

Open a dictionary to work on your writing style. The French language is rich in terms, each with a specific meaning. By carefully choosing your words, you will produce a much more impactful text. What do you prefer between “I woke up with the sound of cicadas” and “I woke up with the sound of cicadas”?

Spelling, grammar and conjugation are essential for an enjoyable reading style, otherwise you risk putting off your readers. To help you improve your writing style , there are also computer dictionaries, such as the Robert Correcteur . Beyond the usual corrections, this type of tool is valuable for tracking down repetitions and weak verbs (say, do, see, etc.).

Look for fluidity

A pleasant book to read must have a fluid and concise writing. For example, prefer to use the active voice for a direct and frank style. Limit the sequence of main and subordinate clauses in the same sentence, otherwise you risk getting lost in your story and your reader too!

Finally, pay attention to your punctuation and typography: commas do not go just anywhere, semicolons have a special meaning, just like ellipsis.

A good way to know if your text is fluent is to read it aloud. Gustave Flaubert called this stage the ordeal of the “mouthpiece”: “I only know that a sentence is good after having passed it through my mouthpiece”. This exercise is often revealing to detect dissonances, badly written or unbalanced sentences.

Avoid conventional expressions

“There is”, or the excessive use of the verbs “to have”, “to do”, and “to be”, are to be avoided. For what ? Because they are commonplace and meaningless. Looking for alternatives will improve your writing style . Also track down adverbs: “say aggressively” can be replaced by “reproach” or “scold”.

Instead, research how to say the same thing your way. Your story must bear your mark, your personality: you might as well banish the words and expressions used all over the place.

Also watch your language tics in writing: “du coup”, “concerning”, “indeed” or “clearly”… These expressions which come up systematically in your writing must be mastered and used advisedly.

Bring your story to life

Stringing together similar turns makes reading a story monotonous. Alternating long and short sentences gives relief to a story. It’s up to you to test different formulations so that your writing is rhythmic.

Another solution to bring a story to life: take care of the scenario. Feel free to go into detail to help the reader visualize the scene you are describing. This technique is summed up in the English expression “show, don’t tell”. Instead of simply writing that the character is on edge (which fits in one sentence…), imagine a scene where the character is breaking down nervously. For example, he breaks down in tears when he finds a new bill in his mailbox. The reader will be immediately immersed in the action and your writing style will improve.

Simply dare to write

Combining work and pleasure in writing sometimes requires breaking down barriers. Just because Honoré de Balzac liked to write long descriptions doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Be authentic and write the way you want.

If you like to use singular figures and little used words, feel free to do so. Your writing style will be tinged with your personality. Just be careful not to go to extremes, or your reader might get confused.

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