The Naked Writer by G. Miki Hayden—in Action
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Wednesday December 22, 2021
No matter how gifted a writer you are today, you can become a much better writer than you are now. I know you can because I, myself, have transformed into a greatly improved writer over the years. Recently, I’ve been re-editing a lot of my work from the 1990s, to the mid-2010s; and looking at even more contemporary work of mine to just this year, I see how I’ve grown.
I’m not saying I sell everything I put out there for placement, because magazines and novel publishers only take on what they think their own readership will be interested in—but I am saying that I’ve gone from being merely talented to producing polished and correct pieces of writing.
I’m telling you the above to introduce you to the third edition of The Naked Writer, now being published by JP&A Dyson. I see how my writing has progressed, nor just from the 1990s but since I first wrote this very book, The Naked Writer, as well. And I see how valuable being reminded of rules and writing techniques can be even to someone (me) who actually already knows these things.
The usefulness to you of what’s included in The Naked Writer will be anywhere from very helpful to bringing an enormous boost. And as I’ve always said about the book, it includes crucial style points for new AND sophisticated writers. You will find uncommon advice here that hadn’t struck you before, mostly because no other writing-advice authors I know of have suggested these refinements.
When I first started becoming a “real” writer many years ago, I was astonished that some writers could actually put together sentences for readers that had no stumbling blocks. Live and learn. A famous quote advises new authors to forget their first million words as being unsellable. Deep wisdom or nonsense, but surely skilled writing takes a while to cultivate.
I’ve been writing for decades—yup, decades—and I’m still learning, but by now I can read my polished writing and not trip over (too many) snags. Having this ability does make my writing life easier, and in this book I set forth to help other writers do the same.
I give no guarantees of your achieving this easily and without effort, though. Developing this kind of skill-set takes focus, study, and dedication—even while using the well-laid-out map presented in The Naked Writer.
The rules behind our English language have sprung up over centuries and are complex. I warn you that now. The technical part of the language is deep, arcane, and still transforming, year by year. The Naked Writer offers you this nerdy-type information, but I advise readers to hold that portion lightly. Dive into the book now and again, but don’t think you need to know all the terms, such as the parts of speech, the types of verbs, and their ramifications, and so on exactly.
What the book can do for you if you aren’t an out-and-out geek will be to introduce the ground-level use of words and how they’re put together correctly and winningly (though, again, the technical aspect is available here). What will be most useful to all is the study of examples.
By reading portions of The Naked Writer, you will learn how to better put words together and find shortcuts to making your wording not only grammatical but able to expand meaning, enriching how you communicate to readers.
That’s real stuff that you’ll find in here. I know such is the case because I read through the book yet again as the publisher was preparing The Naked Writer for you.
Be determined to understand and go through quickly once—or not—and then go through slowly. My incisive recommendations deserve thoughtful examination. The ideas that will certainly lead you to a vastly enhanced writing style are presented in this book. Don’t struggle, but if something strikes you, if you see the difference between the correct statement of an idea and an improved statement, take a minute, or even a couple of days, to see how you yourself might apply the concept.
You can become a much better writer, I sincerely promise. Slip away from standard, mediocre writing, and turn into someone who can take the English lexicon in hand and be a master. Sorry, but I can’t swear reading The Naked Writer will make you rich, or that agents and editors will welcome you with open arms. (A lot of them just don’t get it.) But you’ll be a more confidant writer for studying this book, that I do guarantee—so put in the work.
About the Author
G. Miki Hayden is the author of the comprehensive writing style guide, The Naked Writer, and the award-winning guide for mystery writers, Writing the Mystery: A Start-to-Finish Guide for Both Novice and Professional, both of which are available now from JP&A Dyson.
"Whatever your habitual errors are, punctuation, writing style, or even not understanding what the agents/editors are looking for, if you'd like to correct your flaws, take a class with me at Writer's Digest: https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/. Or for some less-expensive guidance, you might want to download The Naked Writer for your Kindle at Amazon. Yes, I work with clients privately. Find me on Facebook."
G. Miki Hayden always has a new class starting at Writer's Digest. The feedback she gives is personal, thorough, and actionable.