For those who have read my All About Me In 20 Questions post, you know that my full time job is sports editor for a weekly newspaper, which not only means I do a lot of writing, but when high school sports are underway, my schedule becomes busier.
It was a good thing that I got my fifth book draft finished last week, because I enter that brief period in which I don't look at the draft and allow others to review it. (If you are interested in being a beta reader, the details are here.)
Even so, I've thought about some of the things that I learned from book writing when I've sat down to write newspaper stories. Sure, newspaper stories are shorter than novels, and even short stories, but there are similarities regarding how they are written.
For example, on more than one occasion, when editing a story, I suggested cutting the word "just" when it wasn't necessary. "Just" is one of many words that book writers are told to consider dropping whenever possible, because it cleans up writing and makes it easier on the reader.
Other book writing tips can apply to different forms of writing. Cutting down on adverbs is a good thing, for example. So are using active tense and simple words. Even learning how to draw a reader's attention early is useful. With newspaper stories, they tell you the lead can make a story. That's similar to how the first few lines of your first chapter can make your book.
It goes back to something else I said in my 20 Question post: Spend time writing whenever you can. Regardless of what you write or whether or not you do it for a living, practicing writing is how you get better. No matter what you write, you can think about tips and guidelines that can improve your craft.
Some rules are different for different pieces. But in many cases, the rules are the same.