As a child, I loved reading R.L. Stine. I was captivated by his Fear Street novels and devoured them like a book-loving banshee. However, even HIS earlier work was not as good as his later work. That is not surprising. The more experience, the better you are wielding the written word. When being any kind of artist, improvement is important, but how to get there?
Read a lot of books in the genre you want to write in. Read bad books, good books and books that are not necessarily about what you want to write about it. It’s good to know what is out there and how your book fits into that. It’s also smart to look up reviews on those books and see what people like and dislike. When I started writing cosy mysteries, I looked up reviews and kept a file on my computer with the most important highlights. I remember one important thing I learned was that love triangles were getting cliche.
It all starts with reliable, GOOD feedback. It needs to be constructive and double points if someone actually gets your writing or where you were going with the story. These people can be friends, but aren’t always! Use Twitter to establish connections and see who you can trust. Google for websites where people can share bits of their work, and also learn to look at your own work like a stranger. Finding out what your major flaws are, helps to avoid those mistakes next time.
I tend to forget this, but improvement requires TIME. Your skill is a flower that needs lots of sunshine (practice) and water (patience) in order to bloom. Before you know it you’re getting better, but it might be a while before you notice a significant difference. Writing is fun, so it’s not like practice will be torture. If you want perfection straight away, then, yes, it will a nightmare. You might as well ask my pet dragons to burn your socks as you’re wearing them.
I hope these tips help you become a better writer but don’t focus on that. Focus on your writing and having fun with words.