All stories must have character growth.
Growth can be subtle: the character realizes something they didn’t know before. Or profound: the character goes from ugly, wimpy nobody to strong, world-saving beauty.
Most novels go for somewhere in the middle. But whatever the case, the character in the last chapter must in some way be superior to the person we met on page one.
Basically, they must have fixed or improved upon their flaws. Continue reading
I’m confident that nearly every writing book out there has this piece of advice in various forms:
“In order to write well, you have to write a lot of garbage.”
But what is this garbage we’re all talking about? On which ‘level’ of writing does this junk appear?
Well, just as there are numerous different words for unwanted items (junk, garbage, rubbish, trash, 废物, etc.), there are many ways to think about our literary waste. Continue reading
Okay, the title of this post is misleading, but bear with me.
The issue of creating a unique story used to constantly plague me while I was writing Aza. I could see so many connections to my favorite books at the time– the tribes came from Warriors by Erin Hunter, the camouflaged cloaks were from Ranger’s Apprentice (even though I came up with the idea before I read that series) by John Flannagan… the list goes on. There were times when I considered giving up just because of Aza’s lack of uniqueness.
Luckily I didn’t, and now I realize something: no one can write a truly unique story. Here are the reasons why: Continue reading
The man was standing stiff and upright, which made his stomach strain at the buttons of his white shirt. His face was screwed up like a bulldog, and his beady eyes shifted slowly back and forth over the crowd like everyone was up to no good.
If I was writing about a security guard, I might describe him something like that. Capturing someone’s character is an important skill to have, because without characters you have no story. Continue reading
Monsters loomed behind the trees.
Inspiration can come from anywhere– music, gossip, personal experiences, other stories. No matter what you’re doing, your brain is stockpiling information to use for later. The harder part is to actually produce writing from it.
When I sit down to write my brain isn’t absorbing new information (besides the feel of my pen or the sound of my keyboard). I have to use what’s already there. Most of the time, new information or “inspiration” comes when I’m doing something new and exciting without any way to write it down. When you start feeling inspired, slow down. Think about the way you’re feeling. Notice the details. Even if you don’t plan to write anything, taking a moment to observe will help you remember better. Continue reading