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How to become a better writer? #askpreeti

Every Thursday, I shall blog my answer to a question, which you have asked. You can ask me questions with #askpreeti tag either on my FB page or tweet to me using #askpreeti - See more at: http://blog.preetishenoy.com/2014/11/family-versus-work-what-should-you.html#sthash.qr7xyH3g.dpuf


 It's Thursday! And it is #askpreeti

Every Thursday, I shall blog my answer to a question, which you have asked. You can ask me questions with #askpreeti tag either on my FB page or tweet to me using #askpreeti 

Today I picked three questions which are related. Readers-- Vishad Gupta, Risita Ghadei and Varsha Gaikwad asked me about how to improve English and asked about writing better and editing better.

First of all I must reiterate that I am still learning how to write better! I might be a successful novelist but of course I am still a student. With each book I write, I am getting better. But there is a long way to go.

How did I start writing my first novel--what my journey was like--I have blogged about it in detail on my 500th Post. (written in 2011)  Click HERE

Here are some things that I do, which work superbly for me---and maybe they will be of use to you too.

1.Read a lot: It is imperative to read in order to become a better writer. Read a wide variety of authors--and not just Indian authors please! I read up to four books at a time. Each room in my home will have a book that I am currently reading. I just finished Murakami's South of Border West of Sun, Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and started Gillain Flynn's Gone girl. They are BRILLIANT writers. If you want a fun,light, fast paced read, try Sophie Kinsella. The thing with reading--more you read, more you will enjoy it. And the benefits of reading are improved grammar and vocabulary and improved intelligence. Scientific research has proven that people who read are smarter than the ones who don't. So make time to read. If you do not like fiction there are tonnes of non-fiction. You need not restrict your reading to books. Sites like www.economist.com and Huffington post have excellent articles.  Don't know how to make time? Here is a post I wrote--5 ways to make time to read: http://blog.preetishenoy.com/2013/06/5-ways-to-make-more-time-to-read-blog.html

2. Write every single day: If you want toned muscular arms, you go the gym and pump weights,take whey protein and spruce your diet. You put in hard work and you see results. How is writing any different? If you are serious about being a writer, you have to write every single day. You needn't write a novel or a book or anything 'great'. You don't even have to share it with anybody. You can write emails, blog posts, diary entries, journals, paragraphs, about something you read, something that moved you, something you feel strongly about---anything at all! There are no rules. Just write and pour it all out. It is certain to get better with time and experience.

3.Learn a new word every day: When I was a little girl, my dad told me to read the editorial of 'The Hindu' and write down difficult words that I did not know the meaning of. Those were the days before Internet and computers. I would write them down, look them up in the dictionary. Then my dad and I would use that word in a sentence. I would come up with a sentence and so would he. Today it is so easy. I get a new word delivered to my inbox every single day. The good part now is that I know eighty percent of them :) And when I come across a word I do not know, I am delighted to have learnt something new.


4. If you are a student, Wren and Martin it is! :  Since many of you asked me about improving grammar, I thought I would share what my Bible was, when I was a student of English. It was Wren and Martin . It taught me all that I needed to know about grammar. By then i was reading so much that using English the right way came naturally. I would refer the book in case of doubts. Today you have so many online sites that teach you the right usage, correct your grammar, point you in the right direction. All you need to do is Google! (And not wander off to FB to check out what your friends are doing)

5.Free online courses: Coursera is a superb resource that offers FREE courses. You can take the world's best courses, online for free. How awesome is that?  If you are looking for a basic fundamental writing course, here is a link: https://www.coursera.org/course/basicwriting 
There are many more free online writing courses including one which MIT offers.


Happy writing folks!  Hope what I have said helps you all. If you liked what I have written, don't forget to leave me a comment in my comment box. 

And yes---if you are looking for a contemporary, racy, gripping read, my new book 'It happens for a reason' will be out in less than 5 weeks!

 Now, show me some love and grab it here:
 (You don't need a credit card to order. You can pay cash on delivery)
 Amazon: http://is.gd/Ithappensamazon
Flipkart: http://is.gd/Flipkartithappens




Comments

  1. You did not mention about how you started with writing your first novel.

    I read that you wrote on your blog, and after getting a good response to it, you took up novel writing. Is it true?
    If yes, what were the kind of posts that you wrote on your blog? Any links?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ameya. I amended my original post to add a line which links to my 500th post. I have explained in detail, my journey as a writer. You can click HERE

      Delete
  2. helpful stuff.
    looking forward for your novel.:*

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are an ANGEL...Preeti, you exactly know readers mind and heart .. muahh

    Amrit xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amrit for taking off the time to tell me so :)

      Delete
  4. Thank u so much for replying my query.. :) definitely i will implement all your tips to improve my writing skills.. :) Thanks a lot once again..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Varsha. As you can see your question has helped so many people. So I have to thank you ! :)

      Delete
  5. Thanks a ton Preeti mam!!! I'm sure I will start up the book I've shelved long ago. Looking forward for the newbie though ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Preeti, You are just too good! I am very glad that I accidentally stumbled upon your blog a couple of years ago. I love your sharing and caring attitude.

    Keep up your good work! Always your silent admirer...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Abida--and now that you have broken your silence, please continue to talk to me :) <3

      Delete
  7. Anonymous10:05 AM

    thanks a lot mem your posts always inspires me to write something great and i have started writing on some special memories of my life , friendship and my all friend liked my writing and cheer me as my grammar is poor i keep reading your blogs thanks for sharing such a great information

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rinku and glad you found it useful. happy writing!

      Delete
  8. Thanks a lot Preeti for the online course details provided ! I will definitely would opt for relevant courses that will enhance my writing skill !

    And yes desperately waiting for your new book !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vaishali! Yes, the courses do help, as does constant practice.

      Delete
  9. Very encouraging and resourceful post! Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes always :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. That was a really helpful stuff mam..i ve always wondered how come you are always active with your posts that each one of them throbs the heart of your readers that too i ve followed you all throught your blog marathon posts ..u r jus rockin mam..looking forward for ur next novel..:) cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what to say???i am utterly speechless! the way you try to resolve our problems with unmeasurable patience is just wow! i wonder at ur dedication ..you are just a genius..i can just thnku

    ReplyDelete
  13. you didn't reply:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To whom and about what? I get about 50 emails a day.

      Delete
  14. That's really going to helpful for everybody mam. Its like teaching a kid how to walk. Tons of thanks for your guidance. Each and every article from yours was being an eye opener and interesting. Best wishes mam

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are one among God's own creations.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your tips will sure help me!
    I'm waiting for your Reply in MAIL
    Hope you will reply at one day positively looking forward and waiting for your reply..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you so much preeti !!! I really admire ur creativity and hard word that you do for your readers and love you for encourage me and please keep in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Great inputs, Preeti and so true bout reading and jotting words. My weak point is grammar which I need to wok a lot on.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank u so mch mam! that was really helpful and you hav always been my fav writer ever since i strted reading.. :*

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very well written write up Preeti...I love reading u whether it's blog or novel.

    And, today with this post, u have helped many aspiring writers including ME !!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Please check my latest blog post and feel free to leave your valuable comments, feedback and views. ��

    "Four Mantras for Perfect Happiness"

    http://i-am-the-life.blogspot.com/2014/11/four-mantras-for-perfect-happiness.html

    ReplyDelete

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