What is a story?

Good evening/night/afternoon/morning.

gu

Hello, fellow NaNoWriMos! Are we ready to begin our writing journey in less than a week?

Before we can begin writing that first novel that has been bugging us for such a long time, we need to understand what a story is.

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I am sure many of us read books, read/watch the news, and view movies, etc., so we have a clear picture of what a story is. A story is supposed to evoke pleasure in readers. Simply put, a good story requires a strong plot, a hero (and/or villain), and a main goal that should be accomplished by the end of the story.

Plot+Hero+Goal= STORY

For example:

We have a hero in Jack Reacher. His goal is to find out who is framing him and eliminate them by the end of the story. The plot revolves around a homicide investigator digging into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.

Jack Reacher is after truth and justice. He won’t rest until he gets rid of the bad men.

There’s a movie I liked from the 90s call Misery. Yes, there is a hero, but the villain Annie steals the show big time. Don’t be misled, even villains have goals. This is something we’ll explore in later posts. The plot is built around a famous author named Paul (hero) being rescued from a car crash by his ‘number one fan’ of his books. Things take a horrible turn when he finds himself drugged, crippled and at her mercy. Throughout his captivity and abuse, Paul’s goal is to pursue the crazy woman to let him go even if it means complying and writing the story that she wants.

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It’s one of those rare instances where I shamelessly fell in love with the convincing villain. I am not a Stephen King fan therefore, I cannot comment on his writing style. However, the way he writes and brings this villain to life, one cannot help, but to feel sympathetic towards her.

So to summarize after this sort of lengthy explanation, a story is about a hero who wants to attain/achieve a goal and sets out on a journey to get there (plot). Of course, there’s the awesome plot twist that writers love to throw in because it makes for an entertaining read causing the readers to pause and go, ‘Well, I did not expect that.’ 

And remember, EVERYONE has a story to tell even if they aren’t willing to get theirs out there.

Until next time, happy writing!

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I write because I can

I’m often asked why I write if I don’t intend to publish a few books at least. Here’s the thing: I like writing. Like, really like writing, but for fun and not profit. Mom doesn’t understand this. She thinks I should be making a career out of writing. My sisters are pestering me to complete a proper novel. My friends and colleagues are no better. They think I should look into publishing.

However, I prefer to sit in front my laptop for hours on end and create stories without being pressured. It doesn’t mean I like writing no less. I’ve had an article published in a local magazine a few years ago and I’ve had research material published for the college’s library where I work. I have tons of incomplete material that I’m currently pouring over. Most basically ends up in the trash for I just can’t see them being made into complete novels and I’ve chopped some down to poems.

I may not have a story on hand that can be a potential bestseller, and I may not have publishing on my mind, but I enjoy writing and sharing my stories. They maybe faulty, inconsistent, and grammatically incorrect, but they’re my stories and I am proud of them. Even if it’s just one person reading my story, I feel blessed for I do not write to please people. I write for me.

With my stories, I tend to open the door to a temporary new world where I can get lost and be the boss of whatever I create. Lately, I’ve been watching the content I write though. I’ve toned down the passionate sensual nature I’ve been known for in the past. There maybe a little bit of sexy going on in some of the stories, but no ‘R’ rated material. 

I write because I can and because I love to. Why do you write?

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Calling all writers: James Patterson teaches writing

Best-selling author James Patterson prepares to teach a lesson in his writing MasterClass

James Patterson is hosting a writing class via masterclass.com. The current world’s best-selling author will teach you how to create characters, write dialogue and keep readers turning the page. Patterson will guide you through EVERY part of the book writing process. Yes, that includes publishing. There are 22 video lessons in total, assignments, and one can submit their rough drafts and assignments for feedback from other students taking the class and if you’re lucky, from James himself.

The best thing about this class is that it never expires and you can take it at your own pace.

Sounds exciting right? Plus, it’s the world’s best-selling author who just happens to be my all-time favorite author. I am hoping to sign up for this class soon.

Interested? Visit masterclass.com for further information and find out how to apply.

Image: ebay.co.uk

Do you write every day?

Au pays des Bisounours.

I have many writing projects in various stages (even handwritten ones!), but I just can’t seem to complete any of them at the moment. At the beginning of the year, I had promised to share raw unedited excerpts from my NaNoWriMo winner, A Slim Chance at Love, but I have a confession to make: I haven’t picked it up ever since. It’s something I tend to do. For example, I started working on my first novel back in 2010 and when I completed the first draft, I left it sitting there for six years before finally giving it all of my attention.

As a writer, we’re expected to write every day because it makes good practice, but lately, I’ve been struggling to write even if it’s just one sentence.

Sometimes I get up and go ‘I have a good feeling about this’, but due to fatigue I go back to bed and call it a day. I think this is the reason why my writing is suffering. The upside is that I have good friends and they’ve been encouraging and motivating me by giving me little prompts here and there and giving me honest feedback be it good or bad.

I used to be angry whenever I skip a day or two of no writing, but now, I’ve accepted that it’s okay if I don’t write every day once I make up for it on the weekend.

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Writing 101: Making the best out of an awkward situation

Good evening/night/afternoon/morning.

gu

I am here to tell you how to make the best out of a real life embarrassing moment for your story.

Not really.

Remember my last fess-up? Well, I’ve decided to use it for the good of storytelling! Sometimes embarrassing situations happen to us which may humble and remind us that we’re not perfect. As a writer, I can use the situation to my advantage in a story to give it a personal touch allowing readers to connect and feel. That’s what writers do anyways. Okay, maybe not all, but if something upsets you, don’t let that awkward situation run away. Use it for inspiration next time. Readers want real characters and when writers give them what they want, they’ll always come back for more.

Give your  readers a character they can relate to. A character that they can connect with long after they’ve come to ‘The End’.

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Which Famous Classic Writer Are You?

https://lapetitmuse.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/which-famous-classic-writer-are-you/comment-page-1/#comment-61:

I found this delightful quiz on the thewritepractice and I had to share it here.

I took the quiz and ended up with Jane Austen. I have a confession to make: I don’t like Austen’s work. I could never finish her novels. One page in and I’m like ‘Kill me I’m bored!’ My writing doesn’t resemble hers in any form.

But like I said, it’s just for fun so take the quiz here:

http://thewritepractice.com/famous-writer-quiz/