So you want to write a story. Good for you! You’re not sure where to start? You’re scared your work is not good enough?
Worry not. Noku is here to save the day.
I am a writer, believe it or not. My books may not be on the shelves yet, but I do write. Wherever, whenever I can. I have three notebooks and at least one of them accompany me everywhere I go.
So before I go off topic, here are the dos and don’ts of story writing. These will help you on every type of story you are writing.
Do write. This is an obvious one, right? Of course I should write. I am, after all, writing a story. It sounds stupid now, but most people don’t get how easy it is to push off writing to do things that sound better. Sometimes ideas become so overwhelming that writing them down seems like too much work, but going for that walk seems more fun.
Don’t stress. Sometimes as a writer I stress, because I have so many ideas running through my head. I know the core scenes and the ending of my story, but I find it difficult to start the story. Should it start with action? Or should I first introduce my characters and then gradually bring the action? It’s a tough one. Just write. That’s what I do. Take your laptop, or notebook or whatever and just write. It you don’t like it, you can easily erase it and start afresh. That’s the fun thing about writing. You can always start over.
Do jot down your ideas. I can never get enough of this one. We are all creators. No matter what you may think. Sometimes that idea will come while you are sleeping and you wake up with the best idea ever. Most people go back to sleep and spend the next few months trying to figure out what the great idea was. I take out my notebook and write it down. It’s easy. The app stores have a lot of options to choose from. Just be sure that the app backs up the notes that you take. It would suck to lose all those million dollar ideas when something happens to your phone.
Don’t steal ideas. I get it. That eBook was so good, but I can do better. Do not, and I repeat, do not allow the darkness in you to rewrite some else’s story because you think you can do better. You cannot, because the story was written by someone else. To them it is a work of art. You just need to go out for a walk and get more ideas for you own original story, bud.
Do read more. By reading you learn different styles of writing. You don’t have to copy other’s writing style, but can perfect yours by realising what you like and don’t like about other works. You will learn new words and the different ways to use them in a sentence.
Don’t write words that you are unfamiliar with. Yes, the word is fancy, and yes it will make you look like a genius, but it will also make you look like a fool if you use it incorrectly in a sentence. Try to make your story simple and understandable. Most people (myself included) don’t like having to reference to dictionaries when they are reading. It sucks and it gets on my nerves.
Do research. You want to write a fighting scene. Cool. You want to write about Korea, a place you have never been to before. Awesome. Just don’t forget to research. You don’t want to lose the Korean audience because you insulted them. You don’t want to show people your lack of knowledge by writing about someone being hit somewhere where in real life they could die, but in the story just leave with a few scratches. They don’t even go see a doctor and live to tell the tale! People who know better will stop reading and write bad reviews.
Don’t write for fame, money and attention. Write because you want to make others smile when they read your work. Write because you want to make the readers happy. Write because it makes you happy. That’s the only way to write the best stories.
Do take breaks. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Watch TV, you don’t know how many ideas you can get by just watching one episode of a sitcom.
Don’t force the character to do things they don’t want to. It sounds weird, but most writers will tell you that the characters have a mind of their own. If you write and it doesn’t feel right, erase and start again. So what you won’t finish your story when you want to? If you let the characters lead the way, it won’t matter in the end. Your story will be a success.
Do be weird, crazy, daring. It’s your story. Put whatever you want in there. Put those trolls in pink tutus. Make that dragon breathe out glitter. No one will come after you. As long as you are proud of your work and love it more than you would your own offspring, then don’t worry. The readers will love it just as much. The world has seven billion people. You will find someone to enjoy your book.
Don’t give up. Just don’t.