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Wish list: 6 things all good writers must do

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So, how do you know you’re a good writer? Not just someone who loves to imagine a new world and write. How do you know if you write well? Yes, there are so many ways to measure such a thing, but if you are just starting out, how do you know if your efforts are viable and if your stories will find an audience?

good writers

Flickr: Loren Kerns

Here are some things to consider:

Good writers know the rules of grammar and punctuation. There are some who say that the creative process should not have to be hampered by such details, but that is just simply not the case. Demonstrating that you have taken the care to construct a manuscript that is clean and error-free provides a powerful statement to your readers and prospective agent and editors.

Read: Writing commandment: Know thy audience

Good writers draft well-structured stories with a hero and a villain and a plot construct that provides a catchy beginning, a climactic middle and a satisfying end. Following this basic structure allows readers to read confidently, knowing that they are in a skilled writer’s hands.

Read: 5 tips for bringing energy to your writing

Good writers develop compelling characters, the kinds of characters that slip into a reader’s dreams, appear in their random thoughts throughout the day, or stay with them long after the book has been tucked away. Do this by knowing your heroine. Make her human, with victories and failures, strengths and shortcomings.

Good writers write often and consistently. Save for a few breaks here and there, they know that in order to hone their craft, they must practice.

Read: Branch out: Write what you know and beyond

Good writers accept constructive criticism. They submit their work to others for review and humbly consider their opinions and expertise, knowing it will make them a better writer.

Finally – good writers forgive themselves. They forgive themselves for imperfection and for lazy days when their imagination runs free and stores up new ideas for future use. Good writers never give up.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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