First and foremost, you must play for points and bonuses rather than go for otherwise impressive words. Long words look great on the board, but unless they use every tile in your tray (a 35 point bonus), they can score low for lack of board position.
There are essentially two ways to approach a game of Literati or Scrabble. Offensive players concentrate on words with high point scores, even if they happen to open up opportunities for other players. Defensive players put more thought into using words that are difficult to build on and attempting to limit their opponent's chances of reaching bonus squares.