Janet Reid has a great post today that answers this very question.
People who write well in novels also write well in the comment section. And in Facebook posts. And Tweet streams. And they write good queries. They may struggle like hell; they may fuss over commas and whether to invest in a font app that includes an interrobang (yes you should if only so I can get that query!) but they know how to string sentences together in a way that leaves me thinking “there’s a writer.” It may not be a book I want to read, but the writing is good.
- read anything that holds your attention and figure out why it holds your attention.
- write as much as you can about anything that you want. Write comments, blog posts, book reviews, letters to your grandmother. Just write something and apply what you learned from 1.
- review what you’ve written. Go back and look at some of your old work. Did you think it was great when you first wrote it? Do you see how it can be improved? Apply what you learned from 1 and 2.
- rinse and repeat until you write your very last word.
Karla Valenti writes books about and for children. She also offers professional manuscript critique and editing services. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.