I have been writing stories fro as long as I can remember and throughout this time I have always strived to improve my storytelling abilities. The freedom which writing gives you cannot be compared to anything else and you really can write about anything that you have in your mind. In the past I have written stories about cancer victims, broken families, scamming, fraud, romance and even a crime novel with an FBI and RICO probe with required a great deal of research.
Writing stories is about more than just looking for a payday, it is a great way to express yourself. I was asked on social media recently by Blake Rubin LinkedIn connection and fellow storyteller about how I practice to ensure that my writing is always at a strong level. I thought therefore that I would share with you how I practice writing stories so that you can hopefully do the same.
One way in which I am always practicing my writing abilities is to constantly be on the lookout for character ideas and writing small stories around them. For example, last week I was chatting to a guy for around 10 minutes in a coffee shop, he gave me a little bit of detail about his life and the things that he enjoys as well as telling me about the love of his life, his Jack Russell. When I got home I wrote a small, 2000 word story about an exaggerated version of this man. Doing this is a great way to help with your character development and storytelling in general.
I am always surprised when I talk to people who write stories and books, yet don’t read very often at all. For me this is key to ensuring that I always try out new things in my stories and new ways of telling tales. In fact, I often like to write out the classics on my laptop, just to feel what it is like to write those words. Instead of feeling jealousy about the fact that I have not yet written a classic, I use reading to help me to become a better writer and I’d advise you to do the same.
I have always felt that the key to writing well was to be able to break down a book into many smaller pieces and in order to practice this, I try to write down accounts of events that happen to me during the day. Usually I try to make these no more than 1,000 words and this helps greatly when it comes to recounting small events in your book. Whilst the book is of course about the story on the whole, it is constructed using hundreds of tiny events, if you can practice writing about these individual occurrences, the story will very much look after itself.
Don’t ever stop writing, if you have a block then write your way through it, the moment you stop, it makes it much harder to start again.