Hey Pandas, What Are Some Tips For Writing A Story? (Closed)
I am a storyteller. I was wondering if you had any tips that I can use to improve my work?
Just remember, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
"The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from."
--Gene Fowler, American journalist, author and dramatist.
Best tip I can give is watch Abbie Emmons on YouTube.
She has really solid writing advice and covers a ton of basic topics.
Write about what you know-- unless you're willing to do some serious research for your story, or have the capacity to create an entire world for your characters that has cohesion (like Tolkien), stick to what you know and build from there. Some of my favorite fiction writers like Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear series) and Marian Zimmer Bradley (Mists of Avalon) did tons of historical research to make their fiction seem realistic. What impresses me the most about Auel's work is that she studied anthropology and made assumptions for her characters that have now been proven to be fact about the lives and convergence of Neanderthal and modern humans.
I also love Christopher Stasheff's sci-fi warlock series that blends historical facts with sci-fi fantasy. He did a lot of research to blend the past and present into an amazing planet that any cosplayer would enjoy.
Also, from all the literature I read and dissected in university, I believe that when you know your characters, they write their own story. Often, professors would ask us students if we knew why the author created their characters to be as they were, and my response was usually that greatest stories write themselves, the authors don't contrive anything-it's the characters that tell the author what to write. So use your intuition as a storyteller and let your characters speak through you.
Read every author in the genre your wanting to write in, and study their techniques. Audit (usually free) a literature class at your local or state university to learn more about storytelling. Read Shakespeare's plays as he's the guy who has literally and literarilly written every kind of scenario that involves every human emotion and action, successfully, and his works have been reproduced to be portrayed in original and modern contexts for hundreds of years. He's THE DUDE of literature. And, I think Shakespeare said it best to inspire us all - - “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” so let your imagination guide you.
In the opening line of Charles Dickens's 'David Copperfield', David states, “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show”-- and THAT is what draws readers in and keeps them engaged in a story. It's why most people love murder/mystery stories and programs. Whodunit?
I also think this is what keeps most of us motivated in our real lives. Are we our own hero?
Superheros are just regular folk with extraordinary powers. But I think we're all superheroes if we give ourselves the chance.
"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages." - Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)
As an exercise in writing: rewrite a classic story using your own words and vision of the story.
I rewrote Dickens "A Christmas Carol" as if Scrooge was suffering from a fever and hallucinated the phantoms, but from the pov of the housekeeper who witnessed his episodes of delerium and reported his behavior to the doctor.
Write about your life as a tragic comedy. Tell your audience about how you suffered but humorously managed to survive. It's a classic formula in storytelling.
Never give up. Just rewrite your expectation.
“If you really want something, and really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities, and never give up, you will find a way. Follow your Dreams.” ~ Jane Goodall