8 Writing Exercises To Help You Become A Better Writer

Do you ever think your writing is not good enough?

Well, there is no perfect writer out there. Even the best of the best aren’t 100% perfect; they constantly look for ways to improve their writing skills. That’s why they get editors to edit their errors and improve their writing. That’s the difference!

They were once amateurs who never quit but sought improvement.

There is always room for improvement and growth as a writer, but you have to be intentional about it. The finesse you need to take your writing to the next level won’t happen by chance; you need to constantly take steps to grow and improve your craft.

If you think you can do this by reading, well, you are not wrong but becoming a great writer isn’t attainable by just reading; you need to practice the art of writing. Needless to say, writing is a way to get better at writing. When you write, you practice what you’ve learned through reading, observing, etc. You will also easily identify your weaknesses and strengths and see areas you need to improve.

If you’ve identified your weaknesses and want to improve your craft, these creative writing exercises can loosen you up and help you keep your creative juice flowing. These exercises are fun activities that can help you get through your writer’s block when you feel stuck.

  1. Choose a random object around you and write an image-only poem: Pick an object and describe it using your senses—what does it taste like? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? This exercise helps you to describe vividly without totally relying on telling. It sharpens your use of imagery and description.
  1. Write a short story without using adverbs or adjectives: Write a short story of fewer than 500 words and impose these restrictions. It will help you master the use of stronger verbs and reduce excessive descriptions that weaken writing.
  1. Take a romance short story and rewrite it as a horror: This exercise expands your imagination. It makes you go wild and think of the impossible. Switch genres for a change and turn a love story bizarre, or you can do the opposite. Either way, it’s fun!
  1. Free write for at least 5 minutes before writing: Consider this a warm-up exercise as a writer, just like athletes do. Loosen up and flex your muscles. Write anything that comes to your mind. For example, you could journal your previous day’s activity or explore a topic you enjoy writing about. Just write anything! 
  1. Pick your oldest write-up and rewrite: You may cringe a little when you pick up the first article you wrote in secondary school or the first article you wrote after deciding to start a career in writing. You may even laugh at the mistakes of your then perfect work. Rewriting an old write-up helps you take note of corrections and analyse your progress so far. You might end up creating a beautiful masterpiece from an old story; who knows? Just have fun!
  1. Rewrite a story from a different point of view: Changing who is telling a story can give you a completely different character motivation. It broadens your perspective and takes you out of the zone you are used to. When you move out of your comfort zone, new ideas will come, so try this!
  1. Copy what you read: Now, this is not to say plagiarism is allowed. Let’s just say, when you are reading, you read like a writer by paying attention to how a story is written. So the craft elements—style, structures, figurative language, word choices, etc., that make a story worth reading can be replicated deliberately in your work. This is more like inspirational writing. You can pick an author you love and replicate their writing style with No Plagiarism.
  1. Journal your daily activities: Get a notepad or a diary and write down your daily experiences—good or bad. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you don’t need a high level of expertise, and you don’t need an audience or a topic/theme. Just write down what you feel or experience throughout the day. This writing exercise helps to engage your mind daily, and it’s a way to improve your writing skills by writing daily.

Practising any of these exercises may feel challenging at first, which is absolutely normal. However, to unlock new ideas and keep your creative juice flowing, challenge yourself with these exercises, and you will see results.

Don’t be too rigid about it; you don’t need to prep yourself before starting. Pick one and flow. Just have maximum fun while you improve your skills.

If you found this article helpful, drop a comment, and follow our social media pages @sabiwriters. 

How To Bring Expository Style To Your Writings

The expository writing style uses facts gathered through detailed investigation or research to explain an idea, topic,  concept or situation.  It can assume a compare or contrast form, where two different ideas are juxtaposed. It can also use a causal effect analysis, multiple ideas and examples, etc.

Using this style demands objectivity and relies primarily on proven data and statistical evidence. The structure of expository writing permits detailed, clear and logical explanations and should not include the writer’s personal opinion about the subject. This style is used in academic, business, journalistic, scientific writing, among others.

Employing expository writing requires that your work should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

The common number of paragraphs in a short expository work structure is about five: one for introduction, three for the body, and the last for conclusion. However, the scope of your exposition determines the number of paragraphs to be employed.

Here are a few things to consider when embarking on expository writing:

  1. Research and outline the writing structure

The first step to expository writing is gathering relevant information about your topic through research. It is important to brainstorm the topic and outline details to be explained and included in each paragraph. Always remember that expository writing uses third-person pronouns, such as he, she, they, etc. Objectivity cannot be overemphasised, so ensure you document the information and data obtained and not your subjective opinion.

  • A clear and defined introduction

The introduction is the section where the topic under discussion is unveiled. It should clearly define the topic and the purpose of your writing. A clear and concise introduction enhances readers’ understanding and interest in the work.

  • Seamless connection between sentences, paragraphs and structures

It is important to ensure a logical transition between sentences and structure while using the expository writing style. For instance, each idea discussed in a paragraph should connect to the next idea in the following paragraph and the general topic.

  • Paragraphing

The body entails a breakdown of the general idea. Therefore, each paragraph in the body of the work should be restricted to discussing an idea. In other words, the number of paragraphs in the body should equate to the number of ideas under discussion. Paragraphing this way builds your argument or point, idea by idea, until the concluding evidence or closing statements. Consequently, the readers can easily detect your point in each paragraph without confusion.

  • A simple and clear conclusion

The conclusion in expository writing is not necessarily a summary of the work. Instead, it is a simple and clear evidence of support on the topic being written. Therefore, a conclusion should be logical and precise, based on all the facts and ideas provided.

While the things to consider may be inexhaustive, it is critical to follow the standard structure and ensure that all facts are presented accurately, coherently and objectively with a precise conclusion. That is the hallmark of expository writing.

The Importance of a Rough Draft

A rough draft is a document that has the idea you want to portray but lacks quality and accuracy. There is a reason why it is called a rough draft, and you will find out more as you read this article to the end.

If you must write your book, for example, then you must be patient to bring your ideas to life.

You can do this by first getting them out of your head and on paper the basic ingredients of the work. Your book at its basic form could be called a rough draft.

Rough draft is what it is, rough.

In agreement with this, John Dufresne, an American author, said, ‘The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right but to get it written’.

The ideas you put down may be disorganised or lack the professionalism you desire at first, but be patient; it will all make sense soon. You will have the time to fill in more details and restructure every sentence to reflect quality.

A rough draft is an integral part of writing, and the following are a few reasons why:

1. You start your writing process:

Like they say, starting is the most essential yet challenging aspect of any project – including writing. After doing your research, the thought of writing may seem scary or confusing at first. However, writing down everything that comes to your mind creates a pattern you can follow as you proceed. The ideas you pen down may lack quality in punctuation, grammar or presentation, but by penning them down, you can say that your writing process has begun.

2. It lets your creativity express itself. 

When you know your writing is allowed to look its worst as a rough draft, you become willing to give your creativity free rein. You become free to explore characters and writing styles because you understand that the planned out book or content can take a different turn in the course of the writing refinement. As a writer with a rough draft, it is okay to make mistake.

3. You can feel and touch your ideas.

With a rough draft in your hands, you have a better understanding of your ideas: what to add or remove, how to proceed, if you should follow the structured outline or create a new one. The story may even change totally because you are now more aware of better ways to present your idea. Creating drafts will help you visualise your book or article and gauge how much more work you still need to do.

However, if you are in haste to get it over and done with, you can always contact us. We have talented writers who can write long and short-form content with an impressive turnaround time.

How to Create the Right Book Title

Have you ever picked up a book or an article that you developed a curiosity for because of its title?

Well, having the right title is a critical way to spark people’s interest in your work because it is the first word(s) readers see. A title is a name given to a book, an article, or artistic work in a few words or phrases. Frank Crane once said, ‘Next in importance to books are their title’, which is why many writers struggle with it. If you struggle to come up with the perfect title for your book or article, let’s show you the basic principles that can help.

  1. Use keywords: Keywords are words or phrases that describe an idea or the central idea of your book/article. This is why, when you brainstorm ideas for your title, you need to ensure that it communicates the content of your writing adequately. For instance, if you are writing a book about animal rearing with a focus on expected trends in the future, your title could be The Future of Animal Rearing or The Evolution of Animal Rearing. With both topics, your readers already know what to expect.
  2. Keep the title simple: Don’t confuse your audience by using uncertain and obscure language. It could pass the wrong message. Let the choice of words be clear and easy to understand. Suppose, in the same example in the previous point, the writer chose a title like Comprehending the Intricate Progression of Mammalian Nurturage. No doubt, even you rolled your eyes at that. While it is saying the same thing, the likelihood is it would not be interesting enough to attract curiosity. Make your title easy to understand.
  3. Consider your audience: This point follows the previous one. While developing a good title, you want to ensure that you consider your audience by knowing what they want and the language that most appeals to them. For instance, Comprehending the Intricate Progression of Mammalian Nurturage could work for academic publishing because people in that field appreciate the complexity. However, if your audience is the everyday Jane or John, who wants to distil knowledge in the simplest way possible, The Future of Animal Rearing is your best bet.
  4. Keep it short and precise: A title is not a paragraph or a chapter and should not contain a long string of sentences. It should be clear, accurate, and straightforward.
  5. Avoid too many details: Every title aims to create interest in the reader’s mind. It should give an insight into the content rather than explaining in detail. If it’s too detailed, it could be too wordy, and you don’t want that. Your title should be an appetiser that creates a hunger for the main course.

With these tips, getting a title for your book/article shouldn’t be difficult. It’s okay if, after you have developed your content, you don’t have a title. All you need to do is read through it and decide if it will be in the form of a rhetorical question, a clear statement that answers your readers’ questions, or even an adage. 

At Sabi Writers, we have perfected the art of titling. Beyond that, we can bring life to that book idea in your head. Contact us!