Know Yourself, Know Your Story

A Quick Note: I originally wrote this blog on another site, but I recently decided to move to WordPress, so the first nineteen posts were all put up in one sitting.  Keep in mind that they were originally very far apart.  With that said, enjoy!

So, you wanna write some fiction. You look around you and see a story just waiting to happen wherever you go. Maybe you need some ideas on how to start, or maybe you’re just not sure what to do with all these ideas of yours. Well, here’s a secret from me to you: You’re not alone! You have options! Me? I’m not a published author, but I’ve written and written. I got started on my first book in eighth grade. I’m now a sophomore at Syracuse University, and I just finished with it even though I technically finished the book years ago. So, if you don’t think my advice is worthwhile since I haven’t actually gotten published, then don’t read this blog. For those of you who are looking for some friendly hints, you’ve got a friend in me.

Your options:

1) [EDIT 5/17/13: Short story writers, please please please read this post before getting upset and angry.  I was so dumb when I wrote this!  I’m sorry!]  Short stories – For those of you who have no capacity for plot, or no patience to write a 50,000 + word novel, the short story is for you. The thing about short stories is that they’re, well…short. There’s not a lot of room for character development, and you don’t have time to steadily gain the reader’s trust and interest. You have to imagine that a person is looking at your one-page story and wondering, “Why bother if it’s so short?” Make that first line the answer to their question. Just throw plot and character development out the window and go for it! For example, if you read an opening line like, “My name is Sally Johnson,” you’re most-likely not going to give a crap. Now if you’re opening line is, “It was really hard to wash Sally Johnson’s blood off my hands,” then suddenly BAM! interest. Then you have to make your story meaningful, funny, thought-provoking, or any combination of things. Don’t be scared to A) kill off your main character B) make your ending anger-inducingly vague C) Use language that some people might not consider “appropriate” and D) Be yourself.

2) Novels/Books – For those of you who want to take the plunge and go all the way, sit right down and start up with a book. My next few posts will be about character development, dialogue, plot, and many other things that go into making a good book. I’ll leave you with this tidbit for now – if you ever get discouraged, just remember that there are a ton of books out there that make many people wonder how they ever got published. Yours can and will be better.

For all writers: Keep a small notebook to write your ideas in. Make sure to take it with you wherever you go and leave it by your bed at night. In my notebook, I have about five different stories going on at one time, and sometimes I can’t even understand my own notes, but it’s better that than forgetting a really good idea because you’re two minutes from falling asleep.

That’s it for today! Keep writing!

Word of the day: Copious (adj) – large in quantity or number; abundant; plentiful


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Filed under books, writing

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