Writing

How To Tell A Good Story

Here’s my advice on how to tell a good story.

Create dynamic characters.

They shouldn’t be perfect because everyone is flawed in some way.

Make everyone want something.

As simple as wanting a glass of water or as complicated as saving the world.

Have stakes.

Every action has a reaction.

Don’t sugarcoat.

Tell the story in all it’s ugliness.

Never underestimate the intelligence of your readers.

Enough said.

Aim for clarity.

Confusion is bad communication.

Get creative.

Put your own twist on tried-and-true tropes.

Finish.

A complete story will always win against an incomplete one any day.

Give your readers some closure.

You don’t have to answer every question, but you still have to tie up a few loose ends.

Keep writing.

You won’t write good stories until you write a lot of bad ones.

Writing

Some Reasons Why I Write

I write because I cannot not write. I have voices in my head that won’t leave me alone. They want their voice heard, their story told.

I write because I hope others will relate to my characters. I want my words to resonate with them, so they feel less alone.

I write because I fell in love with writing. And every day I fall more in love. I’m reminded time and time again why I started.

I write for myself. For my own sake and sanity.

I write to find who I am. I’d be lost without writing.

I write to make sense of what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling. I don’t always know what I think until I get my thoughts down.

I write because it’s challenging. I like the challenge of creating. I want to push my creativity and expand my imagination.

I write to document and to record the moments I want to remember.

I write so I don’t forget. So I have a reminder of where I’ve been.

I write even when I don’t know what to say. Eventually, I figure out what I do.

I write because I believe the power of words. The right ones can change the world.

I write because I can. I’m lucky enough to be able to.

I write what I want. I get to make my own rules and break them if I so choose.

I write because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else in the world and enjoying it half as much.

Writing

Tell The Story You’re Afraid To Tell

As a human being who is terrified of many things, I often use writing to deal with some of my fears. Obviously, that’s not the same as confronting them, but it’s a start.

That being said, I’ve been too scared to write about things I should. Or I’ll beat around the bush and skirt around the issue.

I don’t always write how I really feel.

So hopefully, I’ll listen to my own advice about telling the story I’m afraid to tell. I need to share it, if not with the world then at least with myself.

Perhaps I should do the same on this blog. There are many posts I haven’t written or published because of fear.

Then again, the posts I do manage to write turn out to be some of the best.

I can’t make any specific promises because I break everything, but I can make an effort to overcome my fear. Both on the page and in real life. I encourage all of you to do the same.

It won’t be easy. In fact, that’s hard work. But I like to believe the story you’re scared to death of sharing needs to be told.

I don’t want to live in fear, and I especially don’t want to write in fear.

To be honest, I’ve been holding back. I know I can do better. So what if I fail? So what if I make mistakes? I can learn. I will grow.

I censor, I filter. Sometimes I avoid writing what I think because I worry about what others will think.

But I don’t write for others. I write for myself. I have an audience of one. That girl is hard enough to please on a good day.

I don’t want to make my life even harder because I’m afraid to write. I won’t let fear get the best of me.

Writing

30 Things This Writer Will Never Understand

  1. Why people don’t bring me cake after I finish writing a chapter.
  2. Why most of my chapters are short.
  3. Why I’m so short and bookshelves so tall.
  4. Why I can’t reach the top shelf even if I stand on my toes.
  5. Why my toes are always cold.
  6. Why my fingers are cold too.
  7. Why my fingers are big.
  8. Why my fingers like to hit the wrong keys.
  9. Why my phone’s autocorrect doesn’t understand I hit the wrong key, resulting in many typos.
  10. Why my friends feel the need to laugh at my typos.
  11. Why I even have friends when I don’t ever leave the house.
  12. Why fictional characters can’t be real friends.
  13. Why my characters are selfish and whether that’s a reflection of myself.
  14. Why I don’t get an idea every time I look at my reflection in the mirror.
  15. Why I can’t describe facial expressions well even while staring at a mirror.
  16. Why describing facial expressions is difficult.
  17. Why writing is difficult.
  18. Why I almost always tackle the most difficult idea rather than an easier one.
  19. Why I can’t remember the ideas I don’t write down.
  20. Why ideas pop into my head at the most inconvenient moments.
  21. Why I don’t write more often.
  22. Why I don’t always like what I write.
  23. Why I occasionally like what I write and get too attached.
  24. Why I always have to kill what I’m attached to.
  25. Why killing my darlings isn’t as easy as it sounds.
  26. Why dialogue sounds better in my head than it does on the page.
  27. Why notebooks don’t have an infinite number of pages in them.
  28. Why I fill up the pages without being aware of it.
  29. Why I’m not aware of my surroundings at any given time.
  30. Why I’m too aware and start staring at someone with the intention of writing him or her into my story.
Writing

Have You Ever | Writer’s Edition

  • Have you ever killed off a character only to regret it and bring them back to life?
  • Have you ever cleared your search history after a research session?
  • Have you ever used a napkin like a notepad?
  • Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to write an idea down?
  • Have you ever been caught staring at a stranger in public?
  • Have you ever lost sleep worrying over your own characters?
  • Have you ever stolen a pen from someone?
  • Have you ever started a novel and actually finished writing it?
Writing

Don’t Tell Other People’s Stories; Tell Your Own

Stories are special because we’re able to share our lived experiences with others.

If people want to tell their story, they will. Listen because you never know what you might learn.

Almost any experience can be a story. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Humans are storytellers. But storytelling is an art in and of itself. So tell the story you’re meant to tell. Tell it the only way you know how.

You’re different from everybody who came before you. Embrace your differences.

Write the book you want to read. Don’t write someone else’s story.

Writing

Reasons Why Writers Abandon Stories

I apologize to all the stories I’ve abandoned. Here’s why.

A new, shiny idea comes along. Then I proceed to follow the glittery trail of a new idea. It’s hard coming back to old stories, especially when I fall in love with another one. Or even when I fall out of love with old projects.

I don’t know what happens next. Thanks to my non-existent outlines. Worse, my characters are lost too. Maybe I’d also benefit from doing character sketches.

I just need a break. Stories can get too real, too fast. Some distance is called for. Certain stories exhaust me.

I get bored. I love the honeymoon phase when I start a novel and everything’s novel. Pun very much intended. But once the novelty wears off, I jump ship.

I’m overwhelmed. Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, I endeavour to write great, epic works.

I prioritize something else. I love writing. But at times, other things take precedence. And even though it’s important to me, my well-being is too.

I move on. There’s nothing wrong with that. I learn all I can from one specific story and go forth into the world to do bigger, better things. Let go. Move on. I rather not stay in one spot forever.

Writing

25 Signs You Might Be A Writer

  1. You go on Twitter when you shouldn’t.
  2. You cheat on your current work in progress with shiny new story ideas.
  3. You bribe yourself to write using cake as a reward.
  4. You start eating while working.
  5. You make a mess.
  6. You watch crumbs fall into the crevices of your keyboard.
  7. You talk to yourself.
  8. You imagine your manuscripts being turned into movies.
  9. You realize that would require you to finish writing your novels first.
  10. You love your story but you hate it too.
  11. You also have a love-hate relationship with your characters.
  12. You want to cuddle your characters, but you need them to suffer too.
  13. You enjoy watching people suffer.
  14. You roll your eyes when your characters don’t follow your outlines.
  15. You wonder if you should even bother outlining in the first place.
  16. You don’t listen to other people’s advice.
  17. You liking giving advice about writing.
  18. You almost never practice what you preach.
  19. You stare at people all the time.
  20. You consider inserting yourself into a story before thinking better of it.
  21. You daydream more than you dream.
  22. You know weird facts about random topics.
  23. You can procrastinate like a professional.
  24. You work way too hard and you’re paid way too little.
  25. You write.