Saturday, July 21, 2007

More free courses and writing tips

Audrey Owen shares some of her writing tips at Writers Helper. My favorite is top #17 – read aloud to yourself. Reading your work out loud lets you hear awkward phrasing or transitions, especially if you do so after taking some time away from it.

Print your piece or chapter and put it in the drawer for a day or three. When it's no longer fresh in your mind, take it out and read through it aloud with a pen in your had to mark the rough spots. You will catch your typos and grammatical errors more easily after taking a break from your writing, as well.

Ms. Owen also offers a page on readability. This page goes beyond the basic “grade level” determination and discusses other criteria to use when you make sure your work is well-written. She also offers three free courses, including one on writing for the web. Check them out while you're there.

If you're feeling a little wealthier, try the Writers' Village University. They offer a three-month trial membership for $40 with, as far as I could tell, access to as many courses as you can cram into that time. Their list includes courses on everything from freelance writing to mysteries, screenplays, and poetry. I have not, however, taken any of the classes so I can't vouch for their quality.

They do have a free workshop on character building. No, not making you a better person – building characters in your writing. Even in non-fiction, readers need to relate to your characters to care about what happens to them. If your audience doesn't care what happens to your subject, why would they read and recommend your work?




usually when i write, i never care about how it'll sound. those tips are nice, specially the read aloud one! ;)



Thanks for the writing resources, I'll be sure to check them out.



Thanks! I know it helps me to read articles out loud before I consider them finished. Sometimes what looks fine on the page sounds awkward or just goofy out loud.