Oct 24, 2013

How To Write A Story :: (Part 3 of 3)

Writing the actual story.

The big one. Now let's not beat around the bush here, you can punch into google the simple phrase that "how to write a story" and you will get thousands of results with posts and theories written by people who are more intelligent, smarter, experienced, and articulate than me. So why should I even bother? I think I should bother because I might have something different to say than people who've written about writing stories before me.

Science and Art
Writing a story is both a science and an art. There are technical aspects and there are emotional aspects, and a good story is a combination of both in the right degree. A story needs a soul, a story needs a voice, a story should say something more than what is being said on the page. Barring all these, a story should be entertaining, it should move the readers, it should delight and disgust them. Because every story is an escape. So, when you write, are you providing readers with that escape? Are you giving them something that is more interesting than their life might be? If not, then make it so. That is your job.

Answer to a Question
Most of all, a story poses a question and answers it. When writing your story, write down the question you want to ask. The bigger and most complex the question is, the better your answer will be. Read your favorite stories, think about the questions the writers were asking and how they've answered. More often than not, the question will be buried under layers of meaning and the answer will be out there in the pages. You might have to work your way backwards, but it's a learning process that we all need to go through.

Writing a story is difficult. So learn about it as much as you can. Find out all you can, and when you sit down to write. Just write. No distractions, no nothing till you've made your word count of the day. There will be better time to edit it.

A Journey
A story is a journey and when you write the first word, know the end. Then use all the other words to reach it and make the journey as interesting as possible.

It's About Knowing
Now, near the end of this post, you might realize that I've said almost nothing about the technical aspects of writing a story. Because there is none. You can't write a good story in the first draft, and this is what participating in NaNoWriMo is about. Once you do it, you'll KNOW that you can write 50,000 words and then you'll KNOW that you can edit them too.

You might have something good at the end of it all, and you might not, but you'll always have the knowledge that you wrote 50k words in one month.

I wish you luck and swift fingers. May your muse sit on your head and beat you till you finish your word count.

[hit me on twitter, @69fubar if you want to talk about storytelling or anything else in general]