You can’t search for ways to write more as if each day of the year is the same. Some days are longer or shorter than others. Some days are warmer or colder than others. Some days are more eventful than others.
You have to craft a writing strategy that allows you to write more season by season.
Spring is finally here! After a harsh winter filled with dark days, bitter winds and more snow than I prefer, I welcome chirping birds, blooming flowers and earlier sunrises.
Spring is a time for new beginnings. There’s no better time to start developing new writing habits that get you to write more like this spring.
Don’t let all that sunshine get in the way of your writing this summer. This is how I plan to keep up on my writing while the weather is nice.
Short answer: Probably not.
Long answer: Read my blog post.
We’ve all used this word when we think, when we speak and when we write. It’s very easy to do.
See? I just used it.
Didn’t catch it? Let’s try this again.
It’s not an elaborate word, a controversial word, an out-of-date word or a trending word. It’s a word that we slip in to our sentence at the very last moment to emphasize our point.
Missed it again? I’ll spell it out for you.
You’re not going to guess it, so you might as well read this blog post.
Can’t write your story because of that voice inside your head telling you to stop and fix your work? Here’s why your inner editor is holding you back—and what you can do about it.
As I creative writer, I hear this often: “I have a story for you to write.”
“I’m listening,” I’ll say.
“It’s about a blind man who regains his sight, but then loses his hearing.”
“Then what happens?” I will ask.
“You tell me. Write it!”
But that’s not a story. I definitely appreciate the lead-in, but let’s call it what it is. A story idea. A writing prompt. A character.
So, what’s the difference? Let’s define it.
A story, in simple terms, is a narrative telling of connected events with a setting, characters and plot.
A story idea is a fragment of a story. It’s an idea for a character, a backdrop, a start of a sticky situation.
But what happens next? What happens to the character? What happens at this place? What complicates the situation? How is the plot resolved?
There’s nothing wrong with story ideas. The best stories were born from a story idea. The difference here is that the writer recognized that the story idea was, in fact, a story idea and took the time to grow it into a story.
Even the best of creative writing students mistake a story idea for a story. I know I did.
During my grad school years, I wanted to write a young adult novel about a teenage skater girl who gets sent to an all-girl Catholic school. I was so certain that I had a story that I plunged in and wrote several chapters. But by Chapter 5 and she still wasn’t at the all-girl Catholic school, I knew something was up.
I didn’t write her to be at the all-girl Catholic school because I didn’t know what would happen next. I didn’t take the time to see the big picture because I was so excited about one detail of the potential story.
That’s when I knew I only had a story idea, not a story.
Don’t worry. I was able to shape the first chapter into a short story.
That’s why I’m a big supporter of outlining a story. I agree that freewriting helps in the creative process of crafting the plot of the story, but we creative writers often believe that we’ll be able to write a perfect draft from start to finish without any hiccups simply by having a story idea.
But a story idea isn’t enough. Knowing what happens from start to finish as well as how the characters change and grow is.
At least, enough to know that you’re on the right path towards a story.
Do you agree that there’s a difference between a story and a story idea? Share your thoughts below.