There are many aspects involved in how to write a good story, such as
Insight, stamina, and courage.
It’s easy to look through popular topics and choose one that gets a lot of traffic, which also means it’s a subject of high interest.
Romance is a high interest topic. Both in articles, and in fiction. Let’s all write romantic books.
High interest doesn’t mean that readers will flock to your story and buy your book.
Your own unique point of view about a subject is more meaningful for your readers than simply showing them what every other writer has written about already.
Many authors have written romantic books, but none of them had a romantic experience like you have.
When you create an article that reflects all of your experience, through all of the senses, then you’re practising good writing. The thing is, it takes time and patience.
Writing is all about the expression of an idea. The idea should be how you see the thing that you are writing about. How did it leave you feeling, afterwards?
How you “see” things can be understood to mean that it’s how your senses reacted to the experience. What did you feel emotionally about it, and which part of the whole thing appealed to you, and how it changed you?
Focus on an aspect of a commonly known idea, and you’ll discover it becomes more interesting. Focus helps us to turn abstract ideas into concrete ideas. And readers love to read solidly expressed ideas, especially when the topic is complex. Like romance.
Take a look at any high profile writer, actor, or artist. You’ll see that they all have one thing in uncommon with each other. They all do something very different to each other, but they do something that most of their audience can immediately relate to.
Stephen King, Anton Chekov, Vladimir Nabokov, and Margaret Atwood, all put their unique self into their work. They made sure that their own unique personality, their way of looking at things, was reflected in their work. All of the time. That’s how we can easily recognise their work.
It doesn’t matter that some of these writers are no longer alive and working, and some are, each one has something similar in how they work. They took ideas and made those ideas their own. They were courageous enough to test the world of readers to see if they would respond to their point of view about life, love, and death.
Doing that took time, patience, courage, and determination.
Their way of telling a story, their way of writing a sentence. None of it happened overnight, they worked at it, experienced many failures, and finally discovered how to tell their stories their own way.
Look at Vladimir Nabokov’s stories, they’re powerful stories about people, astute observations of the human condition.
If you read his work in an honest way, as a writer, you’d see the value of knowing this type of story telling. Many people are discouraged about reading the so-called classics. These are classics because they are astonishingly well written, not because they are hard to read.
It’s the really good writers that encourage aspiring writers with their storytelling, and show how to make a hard thing look easy.
Nabokov’s style is an example of how to astutely write about human character. How to use adjectives and adverbs galore — to hell with the short, sharp sentence, take on the whole thought, with a long sentence. We feel the characters. They have weight, they lumber and stagger along streets, and finally they get into situations where the action takes place.
Read Margaret Atwood and you learn about plotting, and how an artist steals without being a thief. The art of telling a good yarn, developing characters and structure of the storyline, these shine through in Margaret Atwood’s work.
Her sentences are quicker, shorter, and it comes across as modern writing, comparable with many other current writers. We get an impression of characters who are in the middle of an action while we read.
When you read these authors, you know it’s good writing because you are enjoying yourself. If you stop and analyse, you see how well structured the sentences are, how they are both so different, but they are both so good.
Each author is ‘talking’ with their own unique voice.
A good story, an article, flows. It allows the reader to keep sopping up the meaning in the words. Good writing doesn’t make a reader stop and look at amazing word structures. Bad writing does that.
It’s like being in a cafe, you sit and drink coffee alone. You listen to the chatter in the room, then focus on one conversation, you hear two people creating dialogue together. It’s a real conversation full of spontaneity, so it’s full of words that often collapse into stuttering, humming and purring, but in the end there is a sense to everything, and decent communication took place.
Then you focus on another conversation. The words are clear and simply spoken. The participants give each other room to listen and speak. The message is clear and concise. There’s minimal emotion, but somehow, it’s full of human feeling.
Well told stories are similar. They are written by different voices, people with different points of view about the world, but they are writing about the same event, the human condition.
The emotion in the story is obvious, but it’s often difficult to put your finger on where it is exactly.
Whether you read Anton Chekov, Agatha Christie, or David Baldacci, it’s your business. You will read what gives you entertainment, and that can often be dictated by lifestyle and how much energy you have for reading.
Writing can often be mistaken as one thing; storytelling, and that’s that.
Writing is the tool we use to express ideas about life lived.
Romance can often be mistaken as one thing; Hollywood has given us one version about the mysterious thing we call love, the swooning sweethearts and the swashbuckling heroes. Apparently, all of this is romance.
But is it really love and life?
Then there’s Jackie Collins, Barbara Cartland, Nicholas Sparks, and many others who give entertaining but heart rendering stories about the churning ways of love and romance.
Then there’s life itself, where love was really invented. It comes and goes, pops up out of nowhere, a lover deceives another, or two lovers live together for a lifetime in peace and harmony. This is romantic. People write stories about this stuff.
Stories that we write come from life, our own experiences. Romance is the story of lovers, and we do our best to write it down.
Then there are the stories of the thieves, lovers, cooks, and all manner of people. That’s when storytelling gets complicated.
Finding Your Inner Writer – more from Sean P. Durham