How to Write a Story: Part 1

Learn to Write like a Professional

Know Thyself…

Writing, as any other art form, is an extension to your own identity. It is a way to express your inner most self to the world. It is a way to chart your chaotic thoughts in a rhythm on paper or on the screen. Trust me, once you get the hang of it, all that I just said would begin to make sense.

So here I would like to talk about fresh beginnings. This means the first few moments of your mental work when you sit to write.

Let’s talk about the seed of thought. The Inspiration.

There are many things in the world that can inspire you. You can throw a paper ball out of your window and hit something that is worthy of inspiring you. Everything, and everyone, has a story to tell. The question is, are you the one who is going to tell the story?

Let’s say you already have your inspiration and your adrenaline is flowing as you sit yourself down to pen or type out your thoughts. You would, at this point, be staring at a blank page. You have two options at this point. Either you visualize whatever you want to put on that page; the flow, the structure, the words, the thoughts, etc. You can think about different ways to approach your work. You can let different ideas fester in your mind as you garner courage to type your first words. When you fixate on a particular style, you can delve in them and resurrect them in front of you.

It is not always imperative to have a structure in mind before you begin your writing.  I, for one, like to just dive in and see where the words take me. But you have to choose your own style. As you write more often, you will come across your own definite style. This is a very important point. To truly be a good writer, you have to get in touch with your own definitive style of writing.

As you begin your quest to be a writer,  a person who enjoys the act of writing, your primary goal should be to express yourself. This is easier said than done. Expressing yourself has a very simple prerequisite, ‘to know yourself’.

Knowing yourself doesn’t mean that you know your name, your age, your qualifications, or your work. It means knowing the finer details of your personality that make you unique. There are a ton of people writing mindless drivel everyday. Some do it because they are expected to; others do it because they are just not able to tap into their own mind. It is good to have an opinion. It is even better to have the ability to present it to world.

Ask yourself the following questions:

 

Who are you?

Imagine that you are washed ashore on an island which has been secluded from modern civilization up until now. Let’s assume, for the sake of simplicity, that the inhabitants of this island are able to understand your language. How will you converse with them and convince them of your value to their society? They don’t have the same criteria of success and accomplishment that you are used to in your world. You have to really go deep in your mind to understand how you would actually contribute to their society. This scenario may be a little far fetched, but its essence is simple. You have to strip your mind of all that you think you know to find out what you actually know. Try not to define yourself by your accomplishments. Your accomplishments are mere footprints and talking about them is like walking backwards. Rather talk about what makes you, You!

 

Why should someone listen to you?

This is a tricky question. An opinion can be solicited or unsolicited. Either way you have to make it relevant. The media, social that is, is essentially democratic with everyone throwing in their two cents. Out of all this randomness, to make your opinion count, you have to be truthful to yourself. It is very simple to rehash someone else’s opinion. You may do this unintentionally. With all the content that surrounds us on a daily basis, it is understandable to confuse someone else’s opinion as your own. To be truthful is to be clear.

You can interpret the world, but you should add your own intellect to your opinion. This is what will make your opinion unique. This is what will make you unique. This is what will make people sit up and notice your thoughts.

 

What do you have to say?

This is a simple question in itself, or so it would seem. We go around prophesying our thoughts on random topics. But do we actually stop to think about what we are saying? The sad part we don’t. In the world of hashtags and tweets, we have forgotten the core charm of a message. The message itself. When you write, fiction or non-fiction, make sure you have something to say, something to share with the world. And you do, everyone does. Just tap into your mind and you will see a plethora of information that you have acquired over your lifetime.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the magnitude of this information is, if you feel it is worth sharing, just go ahead.

So for now, why don’t you let these thoughts ferment in your mind. And as you do that, do ‘tap into it‘. I just realized while reviewing my post that I used the phrase ‘tap into your mind’ very generously. I sound like Morpheus. I will catch you around the block with more insights into the art of writing. Ciao.

 

Image in post by Antonio Litterio, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.
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