Not everybody can write like Shakespeare. Everybody has a unique voice.
A t this stage of writing a novel, it’s imperative that you immerse yourself into the world of writing. Attend writing classes and workshops, join a critique group or book club, read books about writing and attend conferences. The world of writing is one that’s evolving and being amongst other writers will help stay in tune with the changes.
You will interact with successful authors and the not so successful ones and you will learn the do and don’ts of the trade.
One thing you will notice is that particular writing classes are taught according to those author’s personal experiences with publishers and the writing world. For example, one class will teach you never to use exclamation marks as a writer but when you go down the street, I guarantee you that you will find a novel with a thousand exclamation marks. So just because your writing style is different does not mean that its wrong. This is important because if you write your book based on a class you took, then you may loose out because the real world of writing is very flexible and your writing style may just be what people are waiting for to break from the monotony of the everyday writing style. You have to find a balance between your style and what’s acceptable.
However, there are some things you can do to strengthen your work:
Passive voice: John was stubbed by the killer. (Rewrite this)
Active voice: The killer stubbed John. (Use strong verbs)
Adverbs: Cut down on the adverbs.
He ran quickly
Adjectives: Reduce your adjectives
A beautiful blonde young girl: (does the reader really need to know all this? How else can you rephrase?)
A beautiful young girl. She ran across the road and her blonde hair fell behind her.
The key to good writing is to use muscle verbs: verbs that tell a story in one word: verbs that show and don’t tell. Continued…