20 Ways to Improve Your Writing HTML version
2. Cause and effect
Cause followed by effect draws the reader into your world. Describe action with the
active noun first, follow this with the action that takes place, and then show the effect of
Some writers attempt to sound eloquent by structuring the sentence with the effect
first. While this works for a humor column, it has no place in fiction. Cause naturally
precedes effect in the real world. If you craft an action scene to model reality, the reader
will be able to make a smooth visualization of the scene taking place.
This out-of-order structure can jar the reader right out of the story. Active passages
should flow straight from the page to the reader’s imagination. This increases the
believability of the story.
3. Activate the senses
Use the character’s bodily senses to draw the reader in: sight, smell, hearing, taste and
touch. In areas with major conflict, try to plant one or two sentences related to the setting,
objects or characters and tie them to the senses of your protagonist.
Make it a point to activate one to three senses before conflict so that the upcoming
scene feels more realistic to the reader. This temporarily magnifies their attention and, as
a result, the conflict has a greater impact.