I had always enjoyed writing while I was in school, but it was never something I really considered I would seriously pursue. However, last year I was inspired by a few friends who were taking part in November’s NaNoWriMo novel writing challenge, and I decided I wanted to get back into writing and maybe even try my hand at my own novel at some point. I hadn’t done much writing since high school, especially creatively, so I definitely had some work to do. Luckily, I was able to find plenty of tools to help me along the way.
Learn to Write with Apps for Beginners
Since I wanted to dive in headfirst, I actually started by taking a few creative writing courses through learning apps. This gave me a great foundation of the basic principles of writing and other tips and tricks for constructing effective prose. For beginners writing books for the first time, it’s also important to learn exactly how to organize a story. Other tools that really helped me early on in my writing journey were story prompts and daily journaling apps. I found that writing a little bit every day was a good exercise for me and kept my mind alert and ready to create.
Strengthen Writing Skills with Grammar and Style Guides
Once you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of writing, the real fun can begin. I learned that writing, like many other skills, is predicated on rules that you must learn carefully so that you can eventually break them. But in order to break the rules, you must fully understand why they exist in the first place. I feel that I was really able to improve my writing style by studying writing style guides. Books like The Elements of Style helped me learn why some sentences sing while others fall flat. Some apps also provided exercises to help polish my writing skills and improve my writing speed, like the apps I found in this list:
With so many writing skills to master, this list was a huge help for me. I could let an app like Grammarly Keyboard worry about my grammar so I could concentrate more on the creative process, but I was still able to correct and learn from my grammatical mistakes. I also found the organization apps like Trello to be a huge help as I actually began to tackle longer format stories in preparation for starting my novel.
Explore Writing Through Skilled Authors
At the end of the day, writing is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice and study. I found the best way to maintain my own writing skills was to not only write but also to read anything I could get my hands on. It was through reading that I started to really understand the skills needed for an author. Having a daily reading practice through apps can help develop writing skills in students or even those who are out of school like me since it gives good examples of how to organize thoughts, form arguments, set up a story, and develop a voice. Reading is essentially research for writing, and you certainly can’t write a good novel if you’ve never read one!
After almost a year of practicing and honing my writing skills, I’ve now started my preparations for my very first novel. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without these tools, so I’m very grateful to have them, and I know I’m going to use many of them as I continue this writing journey.