So how can you improve your writing? You need to think through your fiction at the beginning and at the end of your writing: plan it out and edit it when you’re done.
So let’s begin at the beginning. Check out this article by John Gingerich on LitReactor.com. I can already feel all the “by the seat of their pants” writers jumping to the next paragraph, but I’d advise against it. Gingerich offers a simple but very effective exercise that will improve your fiction through the use of storytelling patterns. Gingerich’s tips will get your story off to a much stronger start that will make your ending have an even bigger impact on your readers.
Second, check out this article by Lady Rosalie Skinner from Fantasy-Faction. Currently, Fantasy-Faction is putting together an anthology of fantasy fiction. They are reviewing submissions, seeing some good stuff and (presumably) a lot of terrible writing. What often separates those two groups? A lack of or insufficient editing. Writers all have their editing routines, but it’s a pretty exhausting process, and things can be overlooked. Skinner has provided a great checklist for writers who need to edit their fiction one more time. So use it. Add steps to her list. Make your fiction shine.
So that’s it. Think about your writing when you’re just starting to write and once again while you’re editing. Build a strong foundation for your fiction, and then make it stand out from the crowd by carving away anything that doesn’t belong.