Every writer eventually falls into a writing or revising rut. Maybe you haven’t written anything in a while and you’re having trouble getting inspired. Or maybe you’ve been revising the same project for ages, but it still doesn’t seem to click. If your writing has become a bit “ho-hum” and could benefit from some revitalizing creative spark, these tips from the experts at Writer’s Relief will help you transform your writing from boring and Blah to vivid and Ah! Wonderful!
Go From Blah To Ah! Tricks To Transform Your Writing
- Have a strong beginning. You only have one chance to make a great first impression! Starting strong will set the tone for your short story, poem, essay, or book. Determine how to hook your reader in the first few lines. Whether you start with dialogue or a killer narrative line, you’ll be amazed at how a more impactful opening breathes new life into the entire piece.
- Make your characters memorable. Great characters will keep readers turning pages, so make the most of your characters! Nail down each character’s key personality traits, from core morals to the tiniest mannerisms and speech patterns. These details will make your characters seem fully real. And consider having your main, secondary, and tertiary characters embody a full range of diversity in terms of race and sexuality.
- Focus on descriptions. If the reaction to your writing is mostly “meh,” you may need to ramp up your world-building and descriptive skills. Start thinking of your setting as a character unto itself—this way, you can better immerse your readers in the world of your piece. Beyond expertly describing your characters’ physical worlds, try using emotive, atmospheric writing to set the overall mood for your piece—just be sure to avoid overdoing it and falling into purple prose!
- Show, don’t tell. You’ve heard this before, and for good reason. Rather than telling readers what’s happening through surface-level summary of what your character is seeing or feeling, show them through imagery, examples, and figurative language. Not only will this make your readers react more emotionally to your writing, but it will help them become immersed in the story.
- Avoid Saggy Middle Syndrome. Do you have a saggy middle? Ahem—in your writing, that is! Even a short story, essay, or novel that has a killer beginning and a great ending can lose readers in the middle if things start to lag. While it’s good to let readers breathe between periods of nonstop action, paragraphs of inactivity can also become boring. Tighten the middle of your work by upping the tension, introducing a new character, or introducing a plot twist.
- Surprise yourself with writing prompts. If your revisions seem ho-hum, browsing through writing prompts can inspire new twists and ideas. Even if a prompt has no apparent connection to what you’re writing, give it a try! You may be struck by a brilliant new idea to rework your piece. Taking a writing break can also do wonders for your editing stamina. (Plus it may give you a new idea for your next project!)
- Read tips from the pros—in different genres. Branching out can help fix your writing when it’s fallen flat. Do you need to interject more alluring descriptions or deeper emotions into your short story? Try reading tips for poetry! If your poem lacks concrete context, check out some writing advice for a short story or novel. (Psst! Our experts have collected tips for poetry, short stories, essays, and books in our Free Publishing Toolkit.)
- Go out with a bang. A great ending is the best way to make an impact with your readers. Determine what type of ending you want—should it be happy, hopeful, bleak, emotionally resonant, surprising, or unexpected? Do you want to wrap up all your loose ends, or leave some mystery? Once you’ve decided on the perfect ending, be careful not to drag it out too long. No matter how eager you are to make your ending memorable, overwriting will be a huge turnoff for readers.
If you try these tips and still feel unsatisfied with your progress, it may be time to put this project aside and write something else. After a few weeks or even months, circle back to the piece that’s giving you trouble and try again with fresh eyes and hopefully some new ideas. Don’t give up—it’s always worth giving your writing a second or even a third look!
Question: How do you revitalize your writing?