If you’ve been thinking of writing your own story or graded reader, you will need to develop other skills too, to boost your writing process, improve your writing style and edit your text. Writing is not only a creative process – if you build other activities around it, the benefits are endless: you can improve your English and find ways to concentrate and relax while being productive!
Here are 7 ideas to boost your creativity and perfect your style.
1 Choose the right music
The best writing playlist can be very different from your favourite songs. Some people find hazy or hectic jazz inspirational, other feel that the structural clarity of Baroque music helps them concentrate. Find the best music and use it to kick-start your writing hours.
- Check out this article for ideas: The Best Sounds for Getting Work Done
- Read this article on Open Culture: The Best Music to Write By
- On Internet radio stations you’ll find channels dedicated to concentration and work: Accuradio
- Here’s a tip: listen to the soundtrack of The Draughtsman’s Contract (dir. Peter Greenaway) composed by Michael Nyman. Many people have said that it helps them concentrate.
2 Pick up writing styles
Get inspired by great authors. Read a chapter from an author with a distinctive writing style, and then try to use their in a sample paragraph. Try several different styles. Here are some recommendations:
- Hemingway’s simple, direct style
- The witty dialogues and characterization of Jane Austen
- The Modernist stream of consciousness technique: Virginia Woolf
- In this article you can read about famous authors talking about their writing inspiration.
- Have some fun on the website ‘I Write Like’ and find out about your writing style.
- Try this quiz and see if you can identify famous authors by their prose.
3 Use dictionaries
Use a monolingual dictionary and a thesaurus to create word maps and check word appropriacy and look for synonyms and antonyms.
4 Study style sheets
You can get good advice on editing, grammar and punctuation from style sheets. You don’t not have to stick to strict rules if you’re writing fiction, but style sheets can help you organise your text.
5 Watch films about writing and writers
Here is a selection of our favourite films:
- Bright Star
- Becoming Jane
- The Hours
- Total Eclipse
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Barton Fink
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
You can also browse this Wiki page.
6 Read short stories
- Here you can find a collection of (very) short stories that take no time to read.
- 10 Short Stories to Read for Free Online
- Read samples from graded readers: Helbling Readers samples
7 Get distracted
Do exercise, eat chocolate, go for walk, do some gardening. Never pressure yourself to write.