It’s hard to tell when your writing is getting better. I’ve previously suffered from a plateau effect in my writing ability. Whether it’s vocabulary issues, pacing problems, or lack of emotion, I feel like my work is always flawed.
But then, there’s no perfect manuscript.
So I wondered… how do you know if you’re improving?
1. Read your old work
Obvious, I guess. Ultimately, you should see improvement. It’s less boring, it’s more interesting, it’s descriptive, it’s emotional, etc. Those elements need to pop out and show you’ve improved.
2. See if you’ve addressed your glaring problems
You should know your weaknesses. Find out if you’ve been working on it via #1.
3. Revisit your old ideas
Try to write an old idea with your new style and technique. It should be easier to see where the strengths of the idea are.
The most important element in a story is a character. If you have an awful character (i.e. generic) then you have an uninteresting story. Sure, plot is a big deal, but characterization needs to be there. Make sure your stories have improved the characters over time.
I hope that helps!
Check out some of my other writing work: