ReadOne of the pieces of advice I see and give about writing that I feel is crucial is this: Read, read, read. I have seen people brush this advice off. Reading however, is what your potential readers will be doing. How does it feel to be the reader? What do you like as a reader? How can you have any clue what will move a reader if you don't read? By reading you can expose yourself to and examine different writing styles, moods, genres, the list really goes on and on.
Read as much as you can. Read critically. Don't simply read through as quickly as you can. Take your time and think about what your reading. How does it flow? What length are the sentences? Examine the word choice. Observe how the words make you feel. Observe how the author conveys information to you. Take your time and study, but still enjoy.
WriteOne does not get better at a skill without practice. Practice writing. Try different techniques and styles. It will take time to get better, as it does with any skill. Painting, math, and music are a few skills that come to mind that require attentive practice. You can write anything you want. If you just want to get practice writing I suggest the creative writing journals I talked about in 3 Useful Writing Activities. You can free write or, if you need more direction, get a steady source of writing exercises. I post a new exercise every Monday. Writing Excuses gives a writing exercise with every podcast. There are plenty of places to get writing exercises and prompts out there. You just have to look for them.
This week let's talk about setting. Describe a portion of setting through a character that does not take part in the story.