The Art Of Storytelling
“There is no friend as loyal as a book”
– Ernest Hemingway
Basic Tips for Crafting a Story
Before you begin to write, ask yourself: “What story do I want to tell?”
- Message: Be clear, concise, and know your message.
- Structure: Every writer has a unique way of working and organizing their thoughts; the important thing is to be organized and to take notes. You can write outlines on your laptop or in your journal.
- Have fun: Most importantly, remember that you should enjoy yourself while writing.
- Be creative: Now is the time to use your imagination and let it run wild!
- Use details from your own life: If you’re feeling stuck when writing a character or unveiling your plot, think about occurrences in your life. Write what you know.
- Observe others: People-watching is a great activity. You never know what details you’ll pick up on or how invaluable they can be.
- Make it believable: Use your imagination but also try to keep it believable (unless you’re writing a fairy tale or science fiction).
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”
– Joan Didion, The White Album
How to Get Started
- Read! William Faulkner said “Read, read, read. Read everything.” Explore all sorts of books and see what you like the most and then try to emulate it.
- And then read some more!
- Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is a must-read and is usually one of the main texts taught in writing schools. One of the greatest modern-day storytellers and teachers of literature, Campbell wrote many books that detailed what he called “The Hero’s Journey.” This book helped inspire George Lucas when writing Star Wars.
“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.”
– Eudora Welty, On Writing
- Read Eudora Welty’s On Writing, 2002: A fantastic guide and reference for any writer, Welty—one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors—examines and discusses subjects essential to crafting a story such as memory, language, voice, and place.
Some More Helpful Tips…
- Keep a journal or notebook to jot down ideas.
- Write every day.
- Trust your instinct. If an idea sparks an interest in you, others will probably find it interesting as well.
- Always remain open to possibilities. It’s okay to take advice from others.
- Remember that the world is brimming with stories and wonder; try to evoke this feeling in your writing.
For more information and inspiration for crafting a story, consult the websites below: