There’s plenty of advice out there on how to become a great writer, and you need to be your own writing teacher if you want to unlock your potential and create your best work.

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Maybe there aren’t a million names for the different kinds of writers out there, but there are as many ways to write as there are people who write.

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Whether you're an old hand or a newbie who is serious about learning to write, the advice is the same: dig in and get that first book out of you.

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Elmore Leonard's punchy style and compelling characters has Hollywood continually coming back to his work. Some of the many adaptations of his writing are highlighted in this post.

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Imagine a shorthand that works for complex storytelling as well as true shorthand works for speeding up general writing. A writer's shorthand does exist, with the use of placeholding “things-yet-to-be-written” in brackets.

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Your book's structure is the tool that will gather up your readers and keep them following along with you; it's the tie that binds all the parts of your story together, from end to end, and in the middle too.

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Most authors probably wish they had a gauge of some kind to stick into the pages to tell them when their book is done. It’s not just new, inexperienced writers who have that wish. Most published authors I’ve posed the question to say the same thing: it’s hard to know when to put down the virtual pen.

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