One of my goals at the start of this year was to focus on good storytelling. What makes Harry Potter such a great story? Why are the “Girl” books (like Girl on the Train) so universally talked about today, whether or not you love them? Why do some books sell like hotcakes? Why are some classics still deeply loved today by many readers, in spite of being dated?
Ten months later, I still haven’t found enough answers. Have I been deceiving myself (my nod toward this month’s monthly theme!)? Can such answers even be found? Have I been chasing the holy grail?
I don’t think so. There’s a never-ending amount of learning we have to do as writers. The more we learn, the more there is to learn. So, with doubts hovering over my writer’s desk, I thought it was time to attend another workshop. Now as I type this, I have just arrived home with 20 pages of notes, single-spaced. A few nuggets keep surfacing, catching my attention because they have to do with process and this storytelling business. Such as…
Some tips on how to turn around all types of negative thinking:
- Instead of thinking you “failed” because you missed a goal, take a look at how much you actually did accomplish.
- If you feel overwhelmed, try writing down each day at the end of the day what your progress actually was that day.
- Don’t think of the entire book you have to finish. Think of only one scene at a time. Take one bite of the elephant at a time.
You know you’ve created good storytelling when…
- readers really enjoy your stories and want more of them. And they want to learn when and where to find them.
- writers remember to have fun. If we’re not entertaining ourselves, how can we entertain our readers?
This is just a sample. There’s a LOT more in my notes. I can’t wait to practice what I’m learning!
And I’ll keep readers posted about my progress in my newsletter a couple times per year. If you want to sign up to receive it, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org