Where do stories come from? From within! They are your own stories, your own experience. You were there, you felt the things you write about. Write what you know. Ernest Hemingway wrote that, "Invention is the finest thing but you cannot invent anything that would not actually happen". Inspiration could come from things you see and things you hear. You were there, you saw it and you heard it. Write those words and place them in others' mouths. Lead an interesting life. This will give you volumes of inspiration. experience and real-life are the best ingredients a fiction writer can use. Or the experiences of others.
You are the one who must stare at the blank page every day. Develop a process of writing. There must be discipline. Develop a habit of writing every day. Set yourself writing goals. Schedule your writing time. Ned Sherrin once said of Keith Waterhouse; "He gets up when the cock crows and does his work and so he is free for lunch." Read the works of other writers. Study them; but do not try to copy them. Develop your own style. A lot of it has to do with studying the craft of writers you admire, of the classics, of popular books, of books that surprised you. Most importantly, your style comes from writing a lot. Socialise with other writers, in the real world and on-line. Join writing groups. Learn from others.
A story is first of all a chain of events that begins at one place and ends at another without any essential interruption. Mark Twain agreed. His first rule of writing was “that a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.” A story goes somewhere. It follows, with purpose, one or more characters through a series of events. By the end, it arrives at a target destination, fulfilling its reason for having been told.
When a story takes shape, we’ve taken that string of events and invested it with meaning. Long ago, we learned to take the confusing flow of many things that happen and try to make sense of them. A story is a fundamental way that humans organise and store information. We do this whether or not such meaning actually existed on its own. Regardless, we shape it, through our selection of elements that link chosen events into a story. We desire meaning, and will likely try to create it whenever and wherever we can.
When asked how to develop intelligence in young people, Albert Einstein was reported to have said: “Read fairy tales. Then read more fairy tales.”
The magic of story lies in what happens during that stream of forward-moving narrative events. That unsuspected sum is the special mathematics of a story, and imbues meaning to words and events. It also connects us in a very simple way, as listener and teller.
The misguided focus many writers overlook is the most basic role of story: to delight us and draw us into it. We might compare a story to a wonderful meal. The success lies most of all in ideas of flavours, spices and herbs, searings and simmerings, the presentation of wondrous things. It also involves the pure enjoyment of those present sharing each others’ company for a time, with the meal as the uniting factor. It really matters far less the exact order of the dishes.
writing is economical. A writer must pay for every word they use, and must use as few as possible to keep the cost down.
A story is a selective batch of information. It selects details, arranges them, perhaps embellishes them. For instance, when describing a character, many writers agree that a less detailed description is often more rich to the imagination. The flaw of many would-be storytellers is that they tell too much. You get the sinking feeling, as they launch into their narrative, that you are going to re-experience the whole experience with them, blow by blow. Don’t re-live the entire event. As a writer or teller of tales, it’s your job to select only the details needed to make the story a good one. Someone once said a bore is a person who deprives you of solitude, without providing you with companionship. A poor storyteller does the same.
You want to communicate to your audience. Spin Out Certain Threads. It’s the opposite of simplify. Embellish! Pick a few decorative threads to spin into a more sparkling web. It’s the opposite element to story’s tendency to focus or simplify itself. There is also a pure delight in the art of the tale, the tongue of whimsy, the gift of gab in an enchanting, charming way.
Joyce Carol Oates wrote, “Storytelling is shaped by two contrary, yet complementary, impulses: one toward brevity, compactness, artful omission; the other toward expansion, amplification, enrichment.”
Ernest Hemingway wrote, “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.”
Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.
How to Overcome Writer’s Block.
It happens to every writer. It’s inevitable. Your prose has turned to mush, you don’t have a creative bone left in your body, and you want to throw in the towel. Every writer struggles with it. But what you do with it is what really matters. Before we talk about solutions, though, let’s talk about the problem.
Common causes of writer’s block.
The reasons for your block may vary, but some common ones include:
Timing: It’s simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
Fear: Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin.
So how do we vanquish this enemy?
Movement is critical. You need to generate momentum to get out of your funk.
Once you start heading in a direction, it’s easier to pick up speed. And before you know it, your block will be a distant memory and you’ll be doing what you once thought impossible. You’ll be writing.
You overcome writer’s block by writing.
Start somewhere, anywhere. Write a few lines. Say anything. And see what happens. Don’t think about it too much or make any fancy announcements. Just write. It doesn’t need to be eloquent or presentable; it just needs to be written..
Write for the joy of writing. Because you can’t not do it. Don’t try to say or produce anything; just get some words on paper, now. No excuses or justifications.
If you do this, you’ll get past the hump. The difference between professional writers and amateurs is this: Both encounter blocks, but one pushes through while the other gets paralyzed.
You can do this. Just write.
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