One of the greatest measuring sticks of good writing is the writer’s ability to say exactly what it is they wanted to in as few words as possible. Writers with a strong command of the English language and an arsenal of powerful words in their pocket have an advantage in that they are often able to condense a sentence or a whole string of words into one carefully chosen word. To become a better writer you must have a broad diction and be able to use appropriate words naturally. So how do you do this? Read below for three awesome tips that will help you ante up.
The More You Read The More You Know
One of the best ways to improve your diction in a hurry is to read writers who employ a wide range of words in their writing. Be an active reader, carefully mining whatever it is you are reading for new words. Underline these words, write them on a notepad, and review them when you are done reading. In this way you will be able to ensure they stick with you. The goal is to internalize these new words so that they appear naturally in your writing. By seeing how other writers do this, you will integrate their style with yours for the future.
List Your Favorite Turns of Phrases
Many writers find it helpful to keep a working list of their favorite phraseology. When you come across a phrase that really sticks with you, make a note of it regardless of if you are ready to use it or not. You can jot it down in a journal or even in the “notes” function on your phone. It will be there for you next time you need it. Being creative isn’t always easy to do at a moment’s notice, but if you keep track of all the nuggets of genius that filter through your mind throughout the day, you can give yourself a head start when it truly is time to sit down and write.
Relentlessly Reject Monotony
Have you ever read your own writing and noticed that you have a tendency to use the same phrases or words continuously throughout your piece? Pet phrases have no place in strong writing. Do the hard work of cutting out repeated phrases or words. Your piece will benefit from it and you’ll be forced to turn to your thesaurus, dictionary, or list of phrases to identify replacements.
Improving your diction can be a very difficult task, but any smart writer understands that it is an ongoing task that must be continually built upon. As you immerse yourself in great writing and become an active participant in your growth, this area of your skill set will flourish. Of course, it is always a good idea to bring in a set of outside eyes that can really examine your writing for any places where some stronger diction may be of good use. Find a great editor today to help you get on the right track in this area!
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