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/lit/ - Literature / Fanfic / Poetry

M-my hands are w-writing on their own~!
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Truth be told, I'm shit at writing. I don't mean I'm just bad at it, I mean I'm fucking shit. I had a very poor education thanks to living in amurrican hick town, so I'm extremely bad at writing, period, as well as critically thinking and dictating my thoughts.

How do I improve? I'm poor as shit and college isn't really an option. What are some good resources on learning how to write effectively and shit?


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well it depends on what you'd find educational. a friend of mine got a 95% on their english midterm most likely because of our roleplaying, while reading fics and some original stories also tend to teach a thing or two.

try writing something every day, like a tidbit about your life or writing about a fictional character. be it your own character or headcanons about your favorite character from a show or book you like.

reading and writing are the two key ways to get better at writing yourself.

ya just gotta believe


Being a storyteller is something you discover on your own, not something that can be taught from handbooks and tutorials…
The easiest, simplest way to is to write, write, write every day and keep at it. Whether it's journal entries, letters, or just forum/imageboard posts. In time, you will get a feel of what feels natural to you - that is, the flow of words, the way you string them together, your preference in explaining or describing, and so on.

I'd also recommend just picking up random novels and studying the writing styles of these people. Note their use of language, their approach on telling a story. If you like a style, try emulating it and see how it feels.

Annddd, as >>339 mentioned, roleplaying is a *really* good way to improve your writing. Since it is essentially nothing more but an extended form of storytelling, you will become more and more fluid at getting across what you mean, having your imagination run wild and, at the same time, develop your style.

Just keep at it, OP


Read all sorts of different stuff. Obviously any sort of fiction or non-fiction, but also things like newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, product manuals, etc. Hell, even food packages will sometimes have short blurbs about the product or the company that made them. Reading stuff from a wide variety of sources will give you an idea of the many different ways words can come together, whether to describe a vacation spot, explain what the gear settings on your car are for, tell the story of a British spy, and so on.

I Googled "writing ideas" and found this site with a lot of writing prompts: http://thewritesource.com/writing_topics/
Yeah, you're obviously past first grade, but if your writing skills are in need of some work then it might help to pick some of the easier prompts. Do some searches of your own for more writing ideas or tips for good writing.

Buy a composition notebook (the ones with the marbled, thick-ish covers and the pages that aren't perforated for tearing out) and use it to write in; they're fairly durable and can be written on your lap if there isn't a table nearby. Write in your living room, write while you're taking a shit, go to a park or a library or a restaurant or anywhere you can sit, and write there. Maybe jot down some writing prompts to write about while you're out, or make up a story about the place you're in or some people you see. You could even just describe your surroundings.

Say you're at a restaurant. Describe the various sounds and smells. Look at the people at other tables; what are they wearing? Do they look happy, frustrated, bored, etc.? If you've been there before, do you have any memories of previous visits? Write down what you order and describe it when you get it: how it looks, how it smells, what it tastes like, what you do/don't like about it. What kind of mood is your server in? If they're upset, trying writing out some ideas why they're upset; they don't have to be right, just whatever you think of.

Most imortantly, do not get discouraged if you don't like what you're writing. I would consider myself a pretty good writer, and I write stuff that I look at later and just go "that was fucking terrible" all the time. It takes practice and a lot of trial-and-error, but if you keep at it then you'll slowly but surely improve.

If you write something you don't like, think about why you don't like it. Even better, write about why you didn't like it! Thinking about your writing and commenting on it is a good way to both work on your critical thinking skills and improve your writing as a whole. Choose some things you didn't like, write what they were and why you didn't like them, and think of some ways to do it differently next time. But also choose some things you did like and write why you liked them. It's important to not only identify different areas for you to work on, but to also reinforce the stuff that you feel you did well.

Well, that was quite a bit longer than I thought it would be. But I really hope it gives you some good tips. Remember, it may take a good while before you think you're writing is good. But just keep writing! You'll never get better if you don't practice, but if you do practice then you will get better. Hope this all helps, and good luck with your writing!


One of the best ways to improve your proficiency would be to attend any sort of creative writing workshop, over a period of years. I used to despise grammar and mechanics, but once I got heavy into writing my own short stories and poetry–all that junk came back to become useful in a lot of little ways.

Even if you cannot attend real world workshops, there's always online creative writing boards. Get yourself exposed to enough criticism and writing resources and you WILL eventually get better.

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