As a writer, it is your own responsibility to improve your word usage so that you can create characters, situations and universes.
“If you want to become a really good writer, you have to read a lot.” That’s the first idea that comes to mind when thinking about improvement. While I definitely agree with that, I also think there’s other helpful ways to get there.
I recently started doing something completely new to me: copying passages from my favourite books and lyrics from songs I really like. This technique is worth trying.
The Steal Like An Artist Journal, created by Austin Kleon, was certainly a huge influence. Here’s one of the exercises that encourages you to forget about how nice or ugly your handwriting is.
After completing this exercise, I paid even more attention to what the author expressed through each word. I analyzed how he/she managed to craft a solid sentence full of strong emotions.
In other words, I took notes on how my favourite authors write, I told myself why I liked that specific paragraph, and I learned from them to keep developing my style.
I thought it would be a good idea to do the same with lyrics. I started with Insight by Depeche Mode.
So now, I have a special notebook to capture words and emotions from my favourite passages. I constantly tell myself “this is what I want to accomplish. This is how I want to be able to evoke something.”
What kind of techniques are you using to improve your writing?