In his book “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer” Roy Peter Clark lists ways to improve your writing. The book starts off with technical advice on how to structure sentences. The most helpful tip was to place the important words in the beginning of your sentence. You start with subjects and verbs. The less meaningful comes in the back. This way, you can guide your reader through the longest sentences.
The second part deals with choosing the right words. You learn how to achieve tension in your plot and how you can set the pace. For example, you can vary the sentence and the paragraph lengths.
Part three is about the practicals of writing. I loved the tool “rehearsal”. Procrastination or writer’s block are less frightening if you reword them as preparation. Just the thought of writer’s block makes my inspiration river go dry. When I now dwell on the topic in my head, it helps me to improve my ideas.
You find editing and the social aspects of writing in the last part of the book. I have never had any trouble with revising my work. It is much easier to cut a phrase than to write it. Knowing what to cut is an art form. It’s like painting for me. You add some colour to your canvas and if you don’t like what you did, you add a layer above it. You shape your painting just as you do your writing, until it feels right.
Through “Writing Tools” I have understood that writing is but a craft which can be mastered. Sewing the word together requires a pointy needle, a strong thread, and a colourful fabric.